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All That Jazz (1979) Poster

(1979)

Trivia

The character of Davis Newman was based on Dustin Hoffman, who had played the title role in Bob Fosse's earlier film Lenny (1974). Gorman had initially portrayed Lenny Bruce in the original Broadway run of the play from which the film was adapted, but was passed over in favor of Hoffman for the film version.
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Upon the film's release in 1979, Stanley Kubrick reportedly believed it to be the "best film I think I've ever seen".
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Richard Dreyfuss was originally cast in the role of Joe Gideon but left the production during the rehearsal stage, citing a lack of confidence in the production. He later admitted that he made a mistake in passing up the chance to work with Bob Fosse.
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Bob Fosse's 16-year-old daughter, Nicole Fosse, appears briefly as a dancer, doing stretches in front of a vending machine, who is asked, "Would you mind doing that somewhere else?" while Joe Gideon is introducing his new idea for the Air-otica number.
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Roy Scheider once commented that he had sung, danced on the stage and acted before, but until this movie had never done all three in the same production.
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Final movie musical directed by Bob Fosse. Also his final feature film as a choreographer.
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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.
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Ann Reinking, who played a role based on herself, had to audition several times before she was cast.
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Roy Scheider claimed that keeping up with trained dancers in the film's final number was the hardest thing he had to do in a film physically.
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Columbia Pictures did not originally want Roy Scheider for the role of Joe Gideon. They wanted Warren Beatty or a more critically acclaimed actor for the role. Bob Fosse stuck to his choice and fought for Scheider, eventually securing him in the lead.
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One of the first lines, "To be on the wire is life; the rest is waiting", is spoken voice-over as we see a man falling from a high wire into a net (and the speaker then admits he did not make it up). The quote is generally attributed to Karl Wallenda, who had died the year before the film came out, when he fell from a high wire without a net.
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Many of the characters in the film are based on real-life characters from the New York theater world. Aside from Roy Scheider, Leland Palmer's character was based on his wife/frequent star Gwen Verdon. John Lithgow's character was also based somewhat on New York theater director Michael Bennett, the director of "Dreamgirls" with whom Bob Fosse had a longstanding rivalry. The character of producer Jonesy Hecht was based upon Fosse's fellow longtime rival Harold Prince. Ann Reinking was more or less playing herself. The character of songwriter "Paul Dann" is a swipe at Stephen Schwartz, with whom Fosse had unhappily worked on "Pippin". Jules Fisher, the lighting designer on many of Fosse's shows and later the producer of his show "Dancin'", makes an appearance as a lighting designer in the scene with Lithgow. The film is based on Fosse's real-life heart attack while both editing his film Lenny (1974) and simultaneously directing the original 1975 Broadway production of "Chicago".
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When this film was released on VHS, it was the first to have a stereo soundtrack.
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The mustachioed editor ("Eddie") of the film-within-a-film, "The Stand-Up", is played by Alan Heim, the actual editor of this film.
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Production took 101 days. Post-production ran for eight months.
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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 him 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.
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Final film of Leland Palmer.
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The relationship between the characters Victoria and Joe Gideon was based on the relationship during rehearsals between director Bob Fosse and dancer Jennifer Nairn-Smith while working on the stage musical "Pippin". Nairn-Smith appears in this movie playing a Principal Dancer.
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The first scene Roy Scheider filmed was when Joe Gideon dances with his daughter. Scheider was petrified, having virtually no dance experience beforehand.
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Bob Fosse considered playing the lead role himself. Producer David H. Melnick pointed out that Fosse, who had a history of heart problems, wouldn't survive the shoot.
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According to Roy Scheider, for the opening "cattle call" scene in which Joe Gideon picks out dancers for his show, Bob Fosse gave Scheider an earpiece and spoke to him during filming to help the actor appear as if he knew what he was doing.
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The character of "Angelique"' was based largely on Bob Fosse's late wife Joan McCracken, who died in 1959 and greatly influenced him in his early career.
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Jack Lemmon was considered for the role of Joe Gideon, but it was decided he was too old.
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This was the only film done by Erzsebet Foldi.
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According to his biography by Eric Lax, Paul Newman turned down the role of Joe Gideon. He wasn't comfortable playing a dancer and didn't bother reading the script.
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Agent Sam Cohn recommended Roy Scheider for the lead role. Daniel Melnick initially decided that Scheider was wrong for the part and he didn't look appealing enough. Bob Fosse told Melnick that he would spend a week with the actor. At the end of that week, Fosse met with Melnick. Fosse said that he wasn't positive that Scheider would be believable playing a dancer, but he saw something in the actor and urged Melnick to give him the part. Melnick finally agreed.
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Producer and co-writer Robert Alan Aurthur received two posthumous Oscar nominations for his work in this film. He died in 1978.
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On the audio commentary it is revealed that Roy Scheider had many "unusual lessons" from Bob Fosse throughout filming which included coughing lessons since Joe Gideon was a chain smoker who coughed very heavily and Fosse instructed Roy how to do it properly; and during the heart-attack scene at the hospital Fosse described to Scheider how painful it was, as if someone was pressuring a weight to his chest - and to perform the scene, off camera the first assistant director pressed one knee on Scheider's chest while the camera was capturing his painful expressions.
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The address on the Dexedrine pill bottle that Joe Gideon used every morning was "61 West 58th Street". Bob Fosse actually lived in apartment 26B at 58 West 58th Street.
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The budget blew up from $6.5 million to $10 million. Director Bob Fosse went over-budget before filming the famous "Bye, Bye Life" finale. Columbia Pictures refused to give him any more money. At an impasse, Columbia execs privately showcased much of what was already shot for the president of Twentieth Century-Fox. Impressed, he agreed that Fox would finance the remainder of the shoot; he also asked for and received distribution and cable rights. Profits from the picture were split according to the contract between the two studios, although Fox received top billing over Columbia in the credits.
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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.
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Alan Bates was considered to play Joe Gideon, but was considered "too British".
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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!"
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Roy Scheider and John Lithgow later co-starred in 2010 (1984).
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Jon Voight read for the role of Joe Gideon, but Bob Fosse had already recommended Roy Scheider.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The address on Joe Gideon's dexedrine bottles in the film was Bob Fosse's actual New York address
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The complex scene of "On Broadway" cattle call that opens the film was filmed in just two days, the time available Fosse and his crew got permission to film in that theatre.
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Jessica Lange has appeared in two films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards: this film and Tootsie (1982) Both are about "show-business" performers and neither won the Best Picture Oscar.
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In Spain the film was re-released (by Artistic Metropol) for only two days, in a subtitled version.
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One of the first lines in the movie is, "To be on the high wire is life. The rest is waiting." is a slightly changed version of a quotation of the great German racing driver of the 1930s, Rudolf Caracciola, :"To race is to live. All the rest is simply waiting."
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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The Lucas Sergeant character played by John Lithgow was inspired by director/choreographer Michael Bennett, of whom was a rival to Bob Fosse.
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Alan Alda, Robert Blake, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson, and George Segal were considered for the role of Joe Gideon.
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The opening cattle call sequence was shot in only two days.
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Roy Scheider and Anthony Holland previously appeared in Klute (1971).
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Roy Scheider and Keith Gordon previously worked together on Jaws 2 (1978).
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Costume Design.
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The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in any Best Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Warren Beatty was interested in playing Joe Gideon, provided he didn't die at the end.
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The address on the Dexidrine bottle in the opening sequence is 61 W 58th St. which would put his apartment right in the middle of 6th Ave.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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