"To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting."
The above is said by the main character, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), in this movie.
This movie is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on the life and career of dance man, Bob Fosse (he was also a choreographer, director, screenwriter, and actor). Fosse directed, co-wrote, and was choreographer for this movie.
We follow Gideon's (Fosse's alter ego) life where at this point in his life he starts each day with Vivaldi, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, and Dexedrine (a prescription upper). Gideon has to start each day like this because he is a chain-smoker, a womanizer who cheats on his wife, drinker, takes drugs, and is a workaholic on the road to self-destruction.
This is a movie you either love or hate. For me, I found the dancing frenzied, the dialogue piercing, the photography superb, and the acting first-rate. (Actor Roy Scheider gives a brilliant performance.) This is a great-looking film with some humorous parts that sometimes is not easy to watch.
There are ten song and dance numbers in this movie. Don't worry!! These pieces are integral to the movie, are short and sweet, and in a word are...fantastic. I especially enjoyed these songs (accompanied by dance):
"On Broadway," "Everything Old is New Again," and "Bye-Bye Life" (part of the lyrics is given in this review's title).
In 2001, the U.S. Library of Congress deemed this film "culturally significant" and thus selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
As well, this movie won four Academy Awards.
Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2007) is perfect in picture and sound quality. It has eight extras including a "Musical Machine" (that's why this DVD is called the "Special Music Edition").
In conclusion, this is a movie like no other movie I've seen and proves that "there's no business like show business!!"
(1979; 2 hr; wide screen; 20 scenes)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>