Won: Best Actress (Liza Minelli), Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Score, Best Sound, Best Editing
Nominated for: Best Picture
Cabaret holds the distinction of being the most awarded film in Oscars History not to win Best Picture, scooping nine awards, but ultimately missing out to The Godfather when it came to the big prize.
Adapted from a hit Broadway musical, itself inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s short stories, Cabaret is set in 1930s Berlin, during the decadent dying days of the Weimar republic. An English student Brian Roberts (Michael York) befriends spirited American singer Sally Bowles (Liza MinellI) and is introduced to the Kit Kat nightclub, where proceedings are overseen by a debauched MC (Joel Grey). Champagne soaked affairs, sexual experimentation and dazzling musical numbers ensue, set against the chilling backdrop of growing anti-Semitism and the rise of Hitler.
Only his second feature as director, this iconic musical secured Fosse’s reputation as an all-time great director and choreographer – he is still to this day the only person ever to have won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony in the same year. Cabaret also introduced Liza Minelli to the screen, in one of cinema’s most iconic star performances. If you’ve been transfixed by the excellent Fosse/Verdon TV series, now is a great time to encounter/revisit this seminal musical on the big screen. Stylish, sleazy, captivating.
Part of Best Pictures, our season celebrating some of the best prize-winners (and most controversial near misses) from the history of the Academy Awards.
Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO. bfimusicals.co.uk