|All That Jazz|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bob Fosse|
|Produced by|| Robert Alan Aurthur |
|Written by||Robert Alan Aurthur|
|Starring|| Roy Scheider |
|Music by||Ralph Burns|
|Edited by||Alan Heim|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox (North America)|
Columbia Pictures (International)
|Box office||$37.8 million|
All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay, by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse, is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse's life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director. The film was inspired by Fosse's manic effort to edit his film Lenny while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago . It borrows its title from the Kander and Ebb tune "All That Jazz" in that production. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2001, All That Jazz was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Joe Gideon is a theater director and choreographer trying to balance staging his latest Broadway musical, NY/LA, while editing a Hollywood film he has directed, The Stand-Up. He is a workaholic who chain-smokes cigarettes and a womanizer who constantly flirts and has sex with a stream of women. Each morning, to keep himself going, he plays a tape of Vivaldi and takes doses of Visine, Alka-Seltzer, and Dexedrine, always finishing by looking at himself in the mirror and telling himself "It's showtime, folks!". Joe's ex-wife, Audrey Paris, is involved with the production of the show, but disapproves of his womanizing ways. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Katie Jagger and daughter Michelle keep him company. In his imagination, he flirts with an angel of death named Angelique in a nightclub setting, chatting with her about his life.
As Joe continues to be dissatisfied with his editing job, repeatedly making minor changes to a single monologue, he takes his anger out on the dancers and in his choreography, putting on a highly sexualized number with topless women during one rehearsal and frustrating both Audrey and the show's penny-pinching backers. The only moment of joy in his life occurs when Katie and Michelle perform a Fosse-style number for Joe as an homage to the upcoming release of The Stand-Up, moving him to tears. During a particularly stressful table-read of NY/LA, Joe experiences severe chest pains and is admitted to the hospital with severe angina. Joe brushes off his symptoms, and attempts to leave to go back to rehearsal, but he collapses in the doctor's office and is ordered to stay in the hospital for several weeks to rest his heart and recover from his exhaustion. NY/LA is postponed, but Gideon continues his antics from the hospital bed, continuing to smoke and drink while having endless strings of women come through his room; as he does, his condition continues to deteriorate, despite Audrey and Katie both remaining by his side for support. A negative review for The Stand-Up — which has been released during Joe's time in the hospital — comes in despite the film's monetary success, and Gideon has a massive coronary event.
As Joe undergoes coronary artery bypass surgery, the producers of NY/LA realize that the best way to recoup their money and make a profit is to bet on Gideon's dying: the insurance proceeds would result in a profit of over half a million dollars. As Gideon goes on life support, he directs extravagant musical dream sequences in his own head starring his daughter, wife, and girlfriend, who all berate him for his behavior; he realizes he cannot avoid his own death, and has another heart attack. As the doctors try to save him, Joe runs away from his hospital bed behind their backs and explores the basement of the hospital and the autopsy ward before he allows himself to be taken back. He goes through the five stages of grief — anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance — featured in the stand-up routine he had been editing, and as he gets closer to death, his dream sequences become more and more hallucinatory. As the doctors try one more time to save him, Joe imagines a monumental variety show featuring everyone from his past where he takes center stage in an extensive musical number. In his dying dream, Joe is able to thank his family and acquaintances as he cannot from his hospital bed, and his performance receives a massive standing ovation. Joe finally dreams of himself traveling down a hallway to meet Angelique at the end, but the film then abruptly cuts to his corpse being zipped up in a body bag.
With increasing production costs and a loss of enthusiasm for the film, Columbia brought in Fox to finance completion, and the latter studio acquired domestic distribution rights in return.
The film's structure is often compared to Federico Fellini's 8½ , another thinly veiled autobiographical film with fantastic elements.
The story's structure closely mirrors Fosse's own health issues at the time. While trying to edit Lenny and choreograph Chicago, Fosse suffered a massive heart attack and underwent open heart surgery.
The part of Audrey Paris—Joe's ex-wife and continuing muse, played by Leland Palmer—closely reflects that of Fosse's wife, the dancer and actress Gwen Verdon, who continued to work with him on projects including Chicago and All That Jazz itself.
Gideon's rough handling of chorus girl Victoria Porter closely resembles Bob Fosse's own treatment of Jennifer Nairn-Smith during rehearsals for Pippin .Nairn-Smith herself appears in the film as Jennifer, one of the NY/LA dancers.
Ann Reinking was one of Fosse's sexual partners at the time and was more or less playing herself in the film, but nonetheless she was required to audition for the role as Gideon's girlfriend, Kate Jagger.
Cliff Gorman was cast in the titular role of The Stand-Up—the film-within-a-film version of Lenny —after having played the role of Lenny Bruce in the original theatrical production of the show (for which he won a Tony Award), but was passed over for Fosse's film version of the production in favor of Dustin Hoffman.
Reviews were largely positive. All That Jazz scores an 85% "Fresh" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Director Bob Fosse and star Roy Scheider are at the top of their games in this dazzling, self-aware stage drama about a death-obsessed director-choreographer."
In his review in The New York Times , Vincent Canby called the film "an uproarious display of brilliance, nerve, dance, maudlin confessions, inside jokes and, especially, ego" and "an essentially funny movie that seeks to operate on too many levels at the same time... some of it makes you wince, but a lot of it is great fun... A key to the success of the production is the performance of Roy Scheider as Joe Gideon... With an actor of less weight and intensity, All That Jazz might have evaporated as we watched it. Mr. Scheider's is a presence to reckon with."
Variety described it as "a self-important, egomaniacal, wonderfully choreographed, often compelling film" and added, "Roy Scheider gives a superb performance as Gideon, creating a character filled with nervous energy... The film's major flaw lies in its lack of real explanation of what, beyond ego, really motivates [him]."
TV Guide said, "The dancing is frenzied, the dialogue piercing, the photography superb, and the acting first-rate, with non-showman Scheider an illustrious example of casting against type . . . All That Jazz is great-looking but not easy to watch. Fosse's indulgent vision at times approaches sour self-loathing."
Leonard Maltin gave the film two-and-a-half stars (out of four) in his 2009 movie guide; he said that the film was "self-indulgent and largely negative," and that "great show biz moments and wonderful dancing are eventually buried in pretensions"; he also called the ending "an interminable finale which leaves a bad taste for the whole film."
Time Out London states, "As translated onto screen, [Fosse's] story is wretched: the jokes are relentlessly crass and objectionable; the song 'n' dance routines have been created in the cutting-room and have lost any sense of fun; Fellini-esque moments add little but pretension; and scenes of a real open-heart operation, alternating with footage of a symbolic Angel of Death in veil and white gloves, fail even in terms of the surreal."
Upon release in 1979, director Stanley Kubrick, who is mentioned in the movie, reportedly called it "[the] best film I think I have ever seen".In 2001, All That Jazz was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It was also preserved by the Academy Film Archive in the same year. In 2006, the film was ranked #14 by the American Film Institute on its list of the Greatest Movie Musicals.
The film would be the last musical nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture until Disney's Beauty and the Beast in 1991, and was the last live-action musical to compete in the category until Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! was nominated over twenty years later.
|1979||Academy Awards||Best Picture||Robert Alan Aurthur||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Roy Scheider||Nominated|
|Best Director||Bob Fosse||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Robert Alan Aurthur and Bob Fosse||Nominated|
|Best Original Score (Adaptation/Song Score)||Ralph Burns||Won|
|Best Art Direction||Art Direction: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton |
Set Decoration: Edward Stewart, Gary Brink
|Best Cinematography||Giuseppe Rotunno||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Albert Wolsky||Won|
|Best Film Editing||Alan Heim||Won|
|1980||British Academy Film Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Roy Scheider||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Giuseppe Rotunno||Won|
|Best Sound||Maurice Schell, Dick Vorisek |
|Best Production Design||Philip Rosenberg||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Albert Wolsky||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Alan Heim||Won|
|1980||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Film||Roy Scheider||Nominated|
|1980||Cannes Film Festival||Palme D'Or||Bob Fosse||Won|
|1980||New York Film Critics Circle||Best Director||Bob Fosse||3rd place|
|1979||National Society of Film Critics||Best Actor||Roy Scheider||Nominated|
|1979||American Cinema Editors||Best Edited Feature Film||Alan Heim||Won|
|1979||Japan Academy Prize||Outstanding Foreign Language Film||Bob Fosse||Nominated|
|1979||Bodil Awards||Best Non-European Film||Bob Fosse||Won|
The DVD issued in 2003 features scene-specific commentary by Roy Scheider and interviews with Scheider and Fosse. Fox released a "Special Music Edition" DVD in 2007, with an audio commentary by the film's Oscar-winning editor, Alan Heim. Blu-ray and DVD editions were released in August 2014 with all the old special features, as well as new supplements through the Criterion Collection brand.
The final dance sequence of All That Jazz is depicted in FX's Fosse/Verdon starring Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse. The series' executive producer and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda played the dual role of Joe Gideon/Roy Scheider.
The film is referenced heavily in the Better Call Saul episode: "Mijo".During the episode, there is a montage in which Jimmy's (Bob Odenkirk) routine is revealed: Grabbing his coffee, defending clients, collecting his check, and his ongoing battle with the parking attendant, Mike (Jonathan Banks). During his routine he always looks in the mirror as states, “It’s showtime, folks!” a line from Bob Fosse's All That Jazz .
Season 3 Episode 5 of GLOW "Freaky Tuesday" opens with the same Verdi concerto music while the character Tammé is shown struggling, with the help of pills and wine and hot showers, to wake up every morning and tamp down her back pain while continuing to perform as a wrestler each night.
Jazz dance is a performance dance technique and style that first emerged in the United States in the early twentieth century. Jazz dance may refer to vernacular jazz or to Broadway or theatrical jazz. Both genres build on African American vernacular styles of dancing that emerged with jazz music. Vernacular jazz dance includes ragtime dances, Charleston, Lindy hop, and mambo. Popular vernacular jazz dance performers include The Whitman Sisters, Florence Mills, Ethel Waters, Al & Leon, Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Dawn Hampton, and Katherine Dunham. Theatrical jazz dance performed on the concert stage was popularized by Jack Cole, Bob Fosse, Eugene Louis Faccuito, and Gus Giordano.
Gwyneth Evelyn "Gwen" Verdon was an American actress and dancer. She won four Tony Awards for her musical comedy performances, and served as an uncredited choreographer's assistant and specialty dance coach for theater and film. With flaming red hair and a quaver in her voice, Verdon was a critically acclaimed performer on Broadway in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Having originated many roles in musicals she is also strongly identified with her second husband, director–choreographer Bob Fosse, remembered as the dancer–collaborator–muse for whom he choreographed much of his work and as the guardian of his legacy after his death.
Robert Louis Fosse was an American dancer, musical-theatre choreographer, actor and theatre and film director. He directed and choreographed musical works on stage and screen, including the stage musicals The Pajama Game (choreography) in 1954 and Chicago in 1975 and the film Cabaret in 1972.
Roy Richard Scheider was an American actor and amateur boxer.
Chicago is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Chicago in the jazz age, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, about actual criminals and the crimes on which she reported. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal".
Sweet Charity is a musical with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. It was directed and choreographed for Broadway by Bob Fosse starring his wife and muse Gwen Verdon alongside John McMartin. It is based on the screenplay for the Italian film Nights of Cabiria. However, whereas Federico Fellini's black-and-white film concerns the romantic ups-and-downs of an ever-hopeful prostitute, in the musical the central character is a dancer-for-hire at a Times Square dance hall. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1966, where it was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning the Tony Award for Best Choreography. The production also ran in the West End as well as having revivals and international productions.
Damn Yankees is a 1955 musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball. It is based on Wallop's 1954 novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.
Ann Reinking is an American actress, dancer, and choreographer. Her extensive work in musical theater includes starring in Broadway productions of Coco (1969), Over Here! (1974), Goodtime Charley (1975), Chicago (1977), Dancin' (1978) and Sweet Charity (1986). In the 1996 revival of Chicago, she reprised the role of Roxie Hart and was also the choreographer, winning the Tony Award for Best Choreography. For the 2000 West End production of Fosse, she won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer. She has also appeared in the films All That Jazz (1979), Annie (1982), and Micki & Maude (1984).
Fosse is a three-act musical revue showcasing the choreography of Bob Fosse. The musical was conceived by Richard Maltby Jr., Chet Walker, and Ann Reinking.
Joan Hume McCracken was an American dancer, actress, and comedian who became famous for her role as Sylvie in the original 1943 production of Oklahoma! She also was noted for her performances in the Broadway shows Bloomer Girl (1944), Billion Dollar Baby (1945) and Dance Me a Song (1950), and the films Hollywood Canteen (1945) and Good News (1947).
Jack Cole was an American dancer, choreographer, and theatre director known as "the Father of Theatrical Jazz Dance".
Leland Palmer is an American actress, dancer, and singer who has appeared on stage, in motion pictures, and on television. She appeared on Broadway in Bajour (1964), A Joyful Noise (1966) Hello, Dolly!, Applause, and Pippin (1972). Palmer received two Tony Award nominations: in 1967 for featured actress in a musical, and in 1973 for actress in a musical.
Cliff Gorman was an American stage and screen actor. He won an Obie award in 1968 for the stage presentation of The Boys in the Band, and went on to reprise his role in the 1970 film version.
Dancin' is a musical revue produced on Broadway in 1978, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who won a Tony Award for the choreography. The show is a tribute to the art of dance, and the music is a collection of mostly American songs, many with a dance theme, from a wide variety of styles, from operetta to jazz to classical to marches to pop.
Damn Yankees! is a 1958 musical film made by Warner Bros. based on the 1955 Broadway musical of the same name. The story is a modern take on the Faust legend involving the New York Yankees and Washington Senators baseball teams.
"All That Jazz" is a song from the 1975 musical Chicago. It has music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, and is the opening song of the musical. The title of the 1979 film, starring Roy Scheider as a character strongly resembling choreographer/stage and film director Bob Fosse, is derived from the song.
Michael James Scott is an American actor and singer, known for his work on the Broadway stage. He is most well known for playing the lead role of the Genie in Disney's musical production of Aladdin in the Original Australian Cast, as well as in the West End, U.S. National Tour and Broadway productions.
Nicole Fosse is an American actress, dancer and producer. She is the only daughter of Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse.
Steven Levenson is an American playwright and television writer. He won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen.
Fosse/Verdon is an American biographical miniseries starring Sam Rockwell as director–choreographer Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as actress and dancer Gwen Verdon. The series, which tells the story of the couple's troubled personal and professional relationship, is based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson. Norbert Leo Butz and Margaret Qualley also feature as Paddy Chayefsky and Ann Reinking, respectively. It premiered in eight parts on April 9, 2019, on FX.
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