Cabaret [Blu-Ray] Bob Fosse

Cabaret [Blu-Ray] Bob Fosse
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This musical landmark from 1972 reaches Blu-Ray, bursting with bonus features lifted from the DVD, but adding a new audio commentary and documentary that make it worthwhile to upgrade. Cabaret began as a series of short stories written by homosexual writer Christopher Isherwood about his days in decadent Berlin as Germany teetered on the abyss between world wars. It became a Broadway hit in the turbulent '60s. As new featurette "The Musical That Changed Musicals" explains, Bob Fosse was a Tony Award-winning choreographer and stage musical director. However, he had to beg Warner to let him adapt Cabaret for the silver screen, because his last film was a box office bomb. What Fosse did was reinvent the movie musical. Instead of making Cabaret escapist fluff like Singing In the Rain, Fosse used his musical numbers to illustrate Germany's grim descent into Nazism, world war and genocide. With screenwriter Jay Allen, he juxtaposes Joel Grey's Oscar-winning cabaret showpieces against the hedonism of lead character Sally Bowles (Liza Minelli, in her signature role), who seduces an uptight Englishman (Michael York) into a bisexual triangle. Politics mix with sex, anti-Semitism and violence to make us laugh, sing, shudder and recoil. If The Godfather wasn't released the same year, Cabaret most likely would have taken Best Picture at the Oscars. (Cabaret captured eight statuettes, compared to The Godfather's three.) The Blu-Ray absorbs everything from the DVD, including behind-the-scene featurettes from 1972 and 1997. On the superb commentary track, Stephen Trompiano (the author of Cabaret: Music on Film) offers his encyclopaedic knowledge of the production, as well as historical context. The disc comes packaged like a small hardcover book, complete with a 40-page book full of photos and bios of the lead actors and Fosse, with a production history. This is a classy package for a timeless movie. (Warner)