Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Erzsebet Foldi ...
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Dr. Ballinger
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Joshua Penn
William LeMassena ...
Jonesy Hecht
Irene Kane ...
Leslie Perry (as Chris Chase)
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Victoria
Kathryn Doby ...
Kathryn
Anthony Holland ...
Paul Dann
Robert Hitt ...
Ted Christopher
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Storyline

Choreographing and picking dancers for his current show whilst editing his feature film about a stand-up comedian is getting to Joe Gideon. Without the chemical substances, he would not have the energy to keep up with his girlfriend, his ex-wife, and his special dancing daughter. They attempt to bring him back from the brink, but it's too late for his exhausted body and stress-ravaged heart. He chain-smokes, uses drugs, sleeps with his dancers and overworks himself into open-heart surgery. Scenes from his past life start to encroach on the present and he becomes increasingly aware of his mortality. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All that work. All that glitter. All that pain. All that love. All that crazy rhythm. All that jazz. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

20 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hinter dem Rampenlicht  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Gideon's catchphrase "it's showtime, folks!" was referenced in season 1 episode 2 of Better Call Saul (2015), when Saul Goodman points to the mirror a la Gideon and says "it's showtime folks!". When it is overheard he says, "it's from a movie!" See more »

Goofs

In a closeup of back of Joe's head during Bye Bye Love number, a large strip of Scotch tape is inexplicably running across back of his head. See more »

Quotes

Joe Gideon: Do you suppose Stanley Kubrick ever gets depressed?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, only the company credits and the title, which resembles revolving Broadway lights. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest Musicals (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything Old Is New Again
(1974)
Written by Peter Allen (uncredited) & Carole Bayer Sager (uncredited)
Performed by Peter Allen
Irving Music, Inc. / Woolnough Music, Inc. (BMI) / New York Times Music Corp. (BMI)
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Depressing but brilliant
30 May 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The life and times of Bob Fosse--oops! sorry!--Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider). He directs, choreographs and writes Broadway musicals and the occasional movie. He also has sex with every woman he can, is a chronic smoker...there's more but I don't want to ruin it.

Basically, this is a character study and an absolutely fascinating one. This is Bob Fosse doing a movie about himself and showing his life in an extremely negative light. I saw this movie when it first came out in 1980. I thought it was one of the most depressing things I had ever seen--but went back to see it three additional times.

The acting is just great all across the board--Scheider is cast against type...and pulls it off. In fact he was nominated for an Academy Award for this performance (he lost to DeNiro for "Raging Bull"). Jessica Lange is playing...let's call her Our Lady of the Oxygen Tank (you'll see what I mean). Seriously, she has a difficult role and plays it beautifully.

The direction is superb, mixing fantasy with reality seamlessly. The songs are good and the dancing is just great (especially in one VERY erotic number about casual sex).

This movie is not for everyone--I know of one theatre in which half the audience walked out demanding their money back--but, if you're game, you probably won't be able to take your eyes off the screen.

Depressing but just great. Fosse's best film (even better than "Cabaret"!)


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