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

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $5.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In Spain the film was re-released (by Artistic Metropol) for only two days, in a subtitled version. See more »

Goofs

Close-up of "Young Joe" with hazel eyes is shortly followed by a close-up of adult Joe with blue eyes. See more »

Quotes

Victoria: Well, you're right. I'm terrible. I know I'm terrible. I look at the mirror and I'm ashamed. Maybe I should quit. I just can't seem to do anything right.
Joe Gideon: Listen. I can't make you a great dancer. I don't even know if I can make you a good dancer. But, if you keep trying and don't quit, I know I can make you a better dancer. I'd like very much to do that. Stay?
Victoria: Are you going to keep yelling at me?
Joe Gideon: Probably.
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 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

After You've Gone
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Turner Layton
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Performed by Leland Palmer with Ann Reinking and Erzsebet Foldi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
On The Wire
15 August 2000 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

One of the most gleefully indulgent, self-loathing films ever made- yet watchable as a train wreck, thanks to its bravery, wit and overall excellence.

Scheider is unexpectedly effective as the director's mirror image, a talented louse who deserves what he gets. I can only imagine the smirk that must have been on Fosse's face throughout this production. He doesn't ask for forgiveness, he doesn't try to justify Gideon's behavior, and he certainly didn't encourage Scheider to be sympathetic. "You're right, I'm a bastard," he seems to be saying.

While catchy and professional, the musical numbers (particularly the art direction and costumes) range from tasteless to bombastic- as they were intended, I think. The choreography is precise, the editing masterful, and the performances in sharp focus. These elements, plus the acerbically mournful script, make for a fascinating deconstruction of self to an extent rarely, if ever, seen in the movies.

Not every artist should think himself so interesting, but thankfully, both Fosse's professional and personal life merited such honest examination. I can't think of any of our more iconic filmmakers today who have been turned the camera back on themselves in such unflinching fashion.

Note: Among the direct parallels to Fosse's actual career are "The Stand-Up" to "Lenny", and Lithgow's snooty Lucas Sergeant to theatre's estimable Harold Prince.


23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Three Big Lies In A Row? jeannepenn
Importance of 'Everything Old is New Again' Scene... paramitch
Goof in the final number modjesky
Who was the second veins-outfit dancer in the final number? Gheelnory
Air-otica dancer Cheryl Clark caldwellrocks
air-rotica scene cindydanvers
Discuss All That Jazz (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?