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Today in Film History: ‘Cabaret’ Opens in Theaters in 1972

“Cabaret”, directed by Bob Fosse, based on the musical of the same name and starring Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey and and Michael York opened in theaters on this day in 1972.

From Wipekedia: Set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party, the film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical “Cabaret” by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel “The Berlin Story” (1945) and the 1951 play “I Am a Camera” adapted from the same work.  Only a few numbers from the stage score were used for the film; Kander and Ebb wrote new ones to replace those that were discarded. In the traditional manner of musical theater, called an “integrated musical”, every significant character in the stage version sings to express his or her own emotion and to advance the plot. In the film version, the musical numbers are entirely diegetic. All of them take place inside the club, with one exception: “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”, the only song sung neither by Grey’s character of the Kit Kat Klub’s Master of Ceremonies nor by Minnelli’s character of Sally BOwles.

After the box-office failure of his film version of “Sweet Charity” in 1969, Bob Fosse bounced back with “Cabaret” in 1972, a year that made him one of the most honored working directors in Hollywood. The film also brought Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, her own first chance to sing on screen, and she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. With Academy Awards also for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Score and Adaptation, and Best Film Edition, “Cabaret” holds the record for the most Oscars earned by a film not honored for best Picture.