movie film review | chris tookey


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Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
8.88 /10
Liza Minnelli , Joel Grey , Michael York
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Directed by: Bob Fosse
Written by: Jay Presson Allen from Christopher Isherwood's novel Gooodbye To Berlin; music & lyrics by John Kander, Fred Ebb

Released: 1972
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 123

On the eve of World War II, a young British man (Michael York) visits Berlin and becomes involved with an American night-club singer (Liza Minnelli, pictured left) and a rich German nobleman (Helmut Griem).
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A directorial and choreographic tour de force.

The film is a sophisticated restructuring of the Broadway original and departs radically from screen musical convention: the songs comment on, rather than arise out of, the story - the film is among the most Brechtian ever made. It is if anything more hard-hitting than the stage version; master of ceremonies Joel Grey (pictured right) contributes a memorable portrayal of evil.

A few minor quibbles: Fosse resorts to vulgar overstatement on a few occasions; the subsidiary love story between Marisa Berenson and Fritz Wepper is dull; Michael York can do little with the annoyingly passive Isherwood character; and, although the film made Liza Minnelli a star, she is - strictly speaking - miscast, since she is so obviously talented that she would hardly stay long in a dive like the Kit Kat Club.

The score features much of the best work of composer and lyricist, John Kander and Fred Ebb.

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