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:

Prepare yourself for all that acclaim... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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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

One of two films made and released around 1979/80 that were inspired by Federico Fellini's (1963). The other was Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980). Giuseppe Rotunno, the film's cinematographer, regularly worked with Fellini. 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: No, nothing I ever do is good enough. Not beautiful enough, it's not funny enough, it's not deep enough, it's not anything enough. Now, when I see a rose, that's perfect. I mean, that's perfect. I want to look up to God and say, "How the hell did you do that? And why the hell can't I do that?"
Angelique: Now that's probably one of your better con lines.
Joe Gideon: Yeah, it is. But that doesn't mean I don't mean it.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Candelabra (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

On Broadway
(1963)
Written by Barry Mann (uncredited) / Cynthia Weil (uncredited) / Jerry Leiber (uncredited) / Mike Stoller (uncredited)
Performed by George Benson
Courtesy of Warner Bros Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A dance with Death...
22 October 2005 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Bob Fosse's autobiographical look at his life, with Roy Scheider fabulously standing-in for Fosse as Joe Gideon, pill-popping, womanizing director-choreographer on the verge of collapse in New York City. Fosse paints himself as suspicious, paranoid, driven, indifferent, exhausted and horny. It's more than most of us want to know about the guy, who seems intent on showing us what a creep he is...but a talented creep! It's a film that doesn't particularly look good (it's a gray, chilly movie), but it has amazing musical flourishes and the self-styled bombast is actually rather amusing once you get the idea. Jessica Lange is beautiful in an early role as the Angel of Death (imagine Fosse explaining that role to her!), and Scheider's performance is really something to see (only occasionally does the camera catch him not knowing what to do). Fosse tries hard not to be pretentious, he keeps things playful and perky, and his ironic ending is wincingly funny. The film is alive and ticking--but that's not Fosse's heart, it's a time bomb. *** from ****


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