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All That Jazz (1979)

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


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


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Music | Musical


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hinter dem Rampenlicht  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Julie Hagerty was once romantically involved with director/choreographer Bob Fosse, she was cast in a small role in this film. Her role ended up on the cutting room floor. See more »


The sweat spot on Audrey's back changes when Joe talks about fidelity and Paul plays the piano. See more »


O'Connor Flood: Give it to me! Bye Bye Life, Bye Bye happiness, Hello loneliness, I think he's gonna die. Gonna die. Bye Bye Life, Bye Bye happiness, Hello emptiness, I think he's gonna die. Gonna die. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Goodbye your life, Goodbye.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Breaking Bad: Negro Y Azul (2009) See more »


There's No Business Like Show Business
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin (uncredited)
Performed by Ethel Merman
Courtesy of London Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Unmistakably Fosse With Strokes Both Self-Indulgent and Brilliant
18 July 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

With the kinetic edits capturing fully the energy of a Broadway cattle call and punctuated perfectly by George Benson's jazzy version of "On Broadway", the opening sequence of Bob Fosse's 1979 autobiographical musical extravaganza is so dazzling that the rest of the movie feels like a series of climaxes awaiting the big finish...literally. Fosse, who also co-wrote the script with Robert Alan Arthur, encapsulates his own hectic life into a patently self-indulgent movie with unmistakable style and verve and isolated moments of sheer brilliance. His doppelganger is Joe Gideon, who is juggling a major Hollywood film about a stand-up comic (like "Lenny") and a major Broadway production starring his ex-wife (like "Chicago"), while simultaneously dealing with his failing heart and a splintered domestic life. A demanding perfectionist, Gideon drives himself with unbounded energy, a heavy smoking habit and an excess of medications. This leads him to the hospital where he faces a personal abyss monitored by the Angel of Death, here a diaphanous woman named Angelique. Gideon's pending mortality starts to take on the stamp of his own productions until reality and fantasy become indistinguishable.

As anyone who has seen "8 1/2" knows, Fosse's film has a Felliniesque aura about it, but the dancer/director/choreographer brings his own unmistakable brand to the film with his rhythmic pacing, unique choreography and show biz savvy. It's a blend that sometimes works quite well, for example, in the erotically charged "Take Off With Us" number and the sweet pas de deux between Ann Reinking and Erzsebet Foldi on Peter Allen's "Everything Old Is New Again". Yet, at other times, Fosse comes across as narcissistic and self-serving, especially during the extensive death sequence set to the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love". Luckily, Fosse cast Roy Scheider as Gideon, a smart move given the actor's innate lack of vanity makes the character's self-absorption more tolerable. It's a smart performance well turned and not overly excessive given the opportunity. The rest of the cast is serviceable though little more - Broadway veteran Leland Palmer as Gideon's ex-wife Audrey, obviously modeled after the legendary Gwen Verdon; Reinking playing a variation of herself as girlfriend Kate; and Jessica Lange, just after the "King Kong" fiasco, most alluring as Angelique. The 2003 DVD is fairly modest on extras - scene-specific commentary from Scheider, brief interview snippets with Scheider, and very brief vintage footage of Fosse directing the cattle call sequence.

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