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.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Shirley MacLaine in her autobiography "My Lucky Stars", the idea for this film was hatched when Bob Fosse was hospitalized for a heart attack. MacLaine claims she was the one who gave Fosse the idea to do "a musical about his death" though she said Fosse seemed to not remember this later. However, Fosse did offer her the role of Audrey Paris, she wrote. 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

Joe Gideon: Sometimes I don't know where the bullshit ends and the truth begins.
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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 New York at the Movies (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Concert in G
(uncredited)
Concerto alla rustica, for strings & continuo in G major, RV 151 1. Presto
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Played often in the score
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User Reviews

 
Quite simply a brilliant film.
29 January 2003 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

To think that Fosse synthesized musical theater, artistic obsession, relationships, fatherhood, and satire all within the framework of a deconstructionist film musical and made it all about himself to boot (including predicting the manner of his own death) without being the least bit self-congratulatory is amazing. The film is edited beautifully; choreographed flawlessly; lit with stark colors that almost fade to black and white at times; and acted with heart and verve, especially by Roy Scheider. The film has one of the most effective uses of the zoom lens (despised by most filmmakers precisely for their inability to figure out when to use it) in film history. The shot pulls back from a lone choreographer on the stage while multitudes of bodies go flying by him, letting us feel his insurmountable task of choosing which of these people will make his show come alive. Some may say the final series of musical numbers runs long but I defy anyone these days to sustain a musical film with the same success. "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago", excellent films that they are, play their cards fast and furious, hoping to razzle-dazzle us just long enough that we'll stay tuned. "All That Jazz" dares to show you a taste of musicals to come ("Take Off With Us") and yet insists you remember where the form came from (the Busby Berkely-esque "Who's Sorry Now?"). When will they come out with the DVD? We can only hope soon.


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