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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars poor image quality
Cabaret is a great musical with a very serious underlying commentary on the rise of the Nazi power. This is a film to have in your own library and it is disappointing that the transfer to DVD has been so incompetently done. The level of visual noise puts a constant crawling "haze" over the images, which is most noticeable over flesh tones. If image quality is important to...
Published on Sept. 6 2003 by Ms. Serena Steuart

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware False DVD Packaging
While this is probably not a bone of contention with most viewers, I think it's worth noting for those that do pay attention to these things, especially if you base your purchases on them, as I did in this case. The packaging on this newer DVD edition of "Cabaret" states that it is an anamorphic transfer (i.e. "Enhanced for Widescreen TVs"). It is...
Published on March 7 2004


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware False DVD Packaging, March 7 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
While this is probably not a bone of contention with most viewers, I think it's worth noting for those that do pay attention to these things, especially if you base your purchases on them, as I did in this case. The packaging on this newer DVD edition of "Cabaret" states that it is an anamorphic transfer (i.e. "Enhanced for Widescreen TVs"). It is NOT. This is the SAME disc as before, with new a label on it.
They merely changed the packaging, I guess, so that they could mention "Chicago" in the description on the back cover and tie it into the heat for that film. Shame on you, Warner Bros. We all work hard for our money and deserve better than to believe we're buying a new anamorphic transfer, when you are really marketing the exact same discs as before.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE PLEASE Don't buy this!, March 19 2004
By 
Mr. G. Snow - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
CABARET is one of the greatest movie musicals ever. I adore it. It is flawless, IMHO.
Why, then am I giving it one star? Because, as others have said, Warners should be ashamed of themselves. This is not the first, but the SECOND release of this movie in a non-anamorphic transfer. I bought the original and was mighty p****ed because it was non-anamorphic. I thought they would have honored this magnificent film in the "anniversary" release. But no. It is, as stated by another reviewer, the same disc as before, in terms of picture quality.
On a small TV you won't notice. But if you care about these things, then believe me, this release sucks big time. As did the first one.
I'm angry, not at being ripped off (I sent this one back for a refund) but because a wonderful work of art has been abused by a greedy, careless film company. And I have been robbed of the chance to see the film in its glory.
Having said that, nothing could improve the truly dreadful sound quality - which was terrible from day one.
I don't suppose there ever will be another release of this movie. What a terrible shame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars poor image quality, Sept. 6 2003
By 
Ms. Serena Steuart "serena" (Port Melbourne, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
Cabaret is a great musical with a very serious underlying commentary on the rise of the Nazi power. This is a film to have in your own library and it is disappointing that the transfer to DVD has been so incompetently done. The level of visual noise puts a constant crawling "haze" over the images, which is most noticeable over flesh tones. If image quality is important to you, then this production will be disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cabaret [1972] [Blu-ray] [40th Anniversary Limited Edition DigiBook Package] [US Import], July 12 2014
By 
Andrew C. Miller - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Cabaret [1972] [Blu-ray] [40th Anniversary Limited Edition DigiBook Package] [US Import] Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem Cabaret brings 1931 Berlin to life. Outside on the street, the Nazi party is beginning to grow into a brutal political force, whilst inside at the Kit Kat Klub starry-eyed American, Sally Bowles [Liza Minnelli] and an impish Master of Ceremonies [Joel Grey] sound the call for decadent fun. Into this heady world arrives British language teacher Brian Roberts (Michael York), who falls for Sally's charm, and soon the two of them find themselves embroiled in the turmoil and decadence of the era.

Cabaret holds the record for most Academy Award wins in a single year without winning the highest honour. But it won Best Picture, with Eight Awards. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Director for Bob Fosse, Best Actress for Liza Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor for Joel Grey, and five more technical awards.

Cast: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem, Fritz Wepper, Marisa Berenson, Helen Vita and Oliver Collignon

Director: Bob Fosse

Producer: Cy Feuer

Screenplay: Jay Presson Allen

Composers: Fred Ebb [lyrics], John Kander and Ralph Burns [adaptation score]

Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Running Time: 124 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – Loosely based on the 1966 Broadway show, the story is set in 1931 Berlin and focuses on a young American singer, Sally Bowles [Liza Minnelli], who works as a performer at the seedy and eccentric Kit Kat Club. When she rents out a room to an intelligent but reserved English tutor named Brian [Michael York], the two become good friends. Despite Brian's ambiguous sexuality, the pair eventually engages in a romantic relationship, but their coupling is tested when a third party is introduced. Meanwhile, the ascent of the Nazi party looms ever-present in the background, casting a pale cloud of approaching doom over the nation.

Though he received plenty of accolades throughout his career, director Bob Fosse isn't as well known today as some of his other celebrated contemporaries, and that's really quite a shame. An important voice of the New Hollywood movement which brought an innovative, independent edge to the American cinema in the late 60s and 70s and Fosse's work helped to usher in a new era of filmmaking that frequently subverted genre expectations. With 'Cabaret,' the director essentially re-imagines the entire concept of studio musicals from the ground up, abandoning the elaborate, feel-good productions of the golden age, in favour of something much more raw and intimate.

Characters don't burst out into random melody to express their emotions or desires. Instead, the musical numbers are all relegated to the stage within the Kit Kat club, maintaining an air of reality throughout the proceedings. Likewise, the subject matter of the story is a far cry from the positive, up-lifting material usually associated with the art form. This is a film that deals with serious and provocative subject matter, resulting in a song and dance experience geared exclusively toward adults. Truly original when first released in 1972, the film hasn't lost any of its creative lustre, and still manages to feel fresh despite its weighty influence on subsequent works.

Through cross-cutting and dialectical montage, the director expertly juxtaposes several of the deceptively jaunty tunes with more disturbing imagery (like a gang of Nazis brutally beating a man), drawing meaningful parallels between the two. Likewise, the film's compositions and camera movement’s work in tandem with its theatrical subjects, further embellishing the slightly exaggerated world of the club through grotesque flash. Much like the dancers themselves, Fosse's visual and editing style follows a meticulously planned, but altogether unpredictable rhythm, giving aesthetic life to the sleazy, dizzying cabaret.

Stepping into the smoky spotlight, Liza Minnelli shines brightly as the enthusiastic but delusional dreamer Sally Bowles. Childlike, eccentric, and fuelled by an infectious thirst for life, the character is somehow graceful, crass, pouty, sultry, and totally awkward all at once. Always aspiring just outside her reach, she hides a tragic layer of fragile desperation beneath an outward veneer of confidence. Minnelli does an amazing job of realizing all of the woman's strengths and flaws and when she takes to the stage… wow. The actress absolutely explodes, giving a truly powerful and commanding musical performance that bursts from the screen.

As memorable as Liza Minnelli is, in the role of the enigmatic Master of Ceremonies, Joel Gray just about steals the show with his mesmerizing performance. Limited only to the Kit Kat Club and having no actual dialogue outside of songs, the part isn't so much an actual character as it is a living extension of the stage itself. An ambiguous, creepy, almost otherworldly figure, Gray could be interpreted as an impish embodiment of the film's escalating dread. Though he at times seems rather harmless and benign, during key moments the director will quickly cut to the character's unsettling smile, cementing the theatrical spectre as some kind of foreboding omen of things to come.

Bookended by shots of a distorted reflection, the film concludes with a simple but utterly haunting image. An eerie portent of further horrors lurking just around the corner, the final scene manages to speak volumes, saying everything that needs to be said through so little. A powerful reinvention of the Hollywood musical, 'Cabaret' chronicles a brief dalliance between two seemingly opposite individuals in Berlin, while the city slowly succumbs to the tragic spread of hatred. As Sally Bowles sparkles on the tiny, seedy stage of the decadent Kit Kat Club, the world outside quietly crumbles, and the spotlight dims on a nation soon to be consumed by shadow.

Blu-ray Video Quality – The restored print is in great shape with no real damage to speak of. A heavy layer of grain is visible throughout, and while natural and filmic in appearance, it does give the image a decidedly rough quality. Fine details are solid, especially in close-ups, but the cinematography has a predominantly soft appearance with frequently hazy, diffuse lighting. Colours during the film's various musical numbers are strong, with some rich blues, reds, and purples offering a decent sense of pop through the Kit Kat club's smoky atmosphere. Off the stage, however, the palette becomes much drabber, and mostly sticks to faded browns and yellows that all work to evoke a bygone era. Likewise, the movie's sense of depth follows suit, demonstrating pleasing dimension during many of the dance sequences and brightly lit outdoor scenes, but becoming flat in most other instances. Contrast is even throughout with natural whites and consistent black levels, but there is some minor crush in night-time shots.

'Cabaret' features an artistically potent visual style, but the frequently hazy and coarse picture isn't always very appealing. Still, there are several truly striking shots peppered throughout, and thankfully the image is free of any unnecessary processing or "revisionist" manipulation. The video isn't impressive in the same way that many glossy contemporary efforts are, but fans of the movie should be very pleased with this faithful transfer.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The film is presented with an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles are also provided. Though the audio is never exactly enveloping, the modest sound design is potent and the musical numbers sound fantastic.

Dialogue and vocals are clean but speech can sound comparatively thin. The mix is very frontloaded, with only some faint music cues hitting the surrounds. The overall soundstage is also pretty small, but appropriate directional effects (a record playing off to the side, for instance) are spread across the left, centre, and right channels when called for. Of course, the real highlights here are the movie's numerous musical numbers, and thankfully these sequences sound great. The songs all come through with solid fidelity, nice separation, and terrific range, delivering crisp, distortion free highs and mid ranges that really let Liza Minnelli's powerful voice soar. Low frequencies are negligible, but there is some minor bass activity during certain music tracks and a key scene involving a passing train. Thankfully, I did not detect any crackles, pops, or hissing.

True surround activity is subdued, but this track shines when it counts. The film's musical sequences are conveyed beautifully, and the studio has resisted the urge to spruce up the original recordings with an overproduced remix.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary with Stephen Tropiano: Stephen Tropiano, author of "Cabaret: Music on Film," offers a worthwhile discussion on the movie, tracing its historical context, inspirations, casting, and production. Stephen Tropiano provides some solid trivia about the shoot and also touches upon the films visuals, choreography, and treatment of sexuality and anti-Semitism. Though the author does spend a fair amount of time simply elaborating on the film's plot, he always peppers in some interesting observations and analysis.

Cabaret: The Musical that Changed Musicals [29:00] Presented in 1080p, this is a newly produced retrospective on the movie. Featuring interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Fosse's relatives and biographer, the documentary traces the director's path toward Hollywood and offers a fairly comprehensive look at the film's production and release. The picture's radical and important place within the evolution of the movie musical is also addressed at length, and the participant's share some interesting anecdotes about the shoot.

Cabaret: A Legend in the Making [18:00] Originally shot for the film's 25th anniversary, this documentary offers more production trivia and stories from the cast and crew. Thankfully, the vast majority of the information shared here isn't just a re-tread of the previous supplement, and we are treated to some rare footage from the film's camera and costume test reels.

The Recreation of an Era [6:00] This is a vintage look at the making of the film that features some behind-the-scenes footage from the set.

Kit Kat Klub Memory Gallery [22:00] In this section we get 23 additional clips with the cast and crew spread over 9 different categories: Liza Minnelli Remembers, Joel Gray Reminisces, Michael York Remembers, Martin Baum Reminisces, Cy Feuer Reminisces, Emanuel L. Wolf Reminisces, John Kander Remembers, Jay Presson Allen Reminisces, and Fred Ebb Remembers. These snippets all appear to have been cut from the longer "Cabaret: A Legend in the Making" documentary, and there are some interesting tidbits here, but most of the clips are very brief (under a minute) and unfortunately there is no play all option.

Theatrical Trailer [2:56] The Original Theatrical Trailer

DigiBook: Warner Bros. presents 'Cabaret: 40th Anniversary Edition' that comes housed in a wonderful DigiBook package filled with 40-pages of interesting production info, essays, photographs and a useful history of the various works preceding the film, beginning with Christopher Isherwood's stories, as well as biographies of Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Bob Fosse, Helmut Griem and Marisa Berenson.

Finally, Cabaret isn't just one of the great movie musicals; it's one of the greatest classic films of its time. Innovative, unique, and ultimately haunting, Bob Fosse's 'Cabaret' remains an important piece of motion picture art. Its provocative and realistic take on the Hollywood musical left an indelible influence on the industry, and the film remains a true classic. The video is a little hazy, but the transfer is authentic and free of any unnecessary digital manipulation. Though frontloaded, the audio mix serves the film well, and the musical numbers sound fantastic. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has put together a nice selection of supplements for this 40th Anniversary Edition, including a commentary and a new retrospective documentary. Coupled with a great DigiBook package, plus makes this Blu-ray set the bar high for hopefully future classic film releases. On top of all that, ever since I saw this released in the cinema it has been a massive hit with me, of course I have had the Region 1 DVD release for ages, but this Limited Edition DigiBook Package makes the wait well worth it and is goes pride of place in my Blu-ray Disc Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Tomorrow belongs to me.", Sept. 9 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cabaret (VHS Tape)
There is several recordings form stage to this movie out there. This movie has songs that you remember and probably sing in the shower. It is also the only movie production of the play therefore even though it is exceptional there is no comparison.

I appreciate books that become movies and movies that are novelized. So naturally I read Christopher Isherwood's "Berlin Stories". They were o.k. However, it was not Cabaret by any stretch of the imagination.

What I found interesting is that I always heard that Germans liked to sing of things as the deer in the field and so forth. Here there was a perfect example when they broke into song with "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" You are swept up in it and forget that this is just a movie. The pacing and photography in the movie was excellent.

As long as you did not see the play you will not notice the absence of some songs such as "Don't Tell Mama" and thing that "Money Money" is a natural.

On the darker side the movie is more than just a musical romp through Germany. And the specter of the approaching NSDAP regime is also well portrayed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cabaret -- Liza-style, Feb. 5 2004
By 
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
Liza Minelli's "Cabaret" -- and, for that matter, Bob Fosse's -- digresses somewhat from the original stage production, both in its plot as well as in its characterizations (Sally is American?). But whatever changes Fosse put into this masterpiece worked splendidly; not only did the fun and sexy atmosphere of the stage version get ratcheted up a notch, but the social commentary behind the fun also got subtly remastered (the last scene is very subtle, iconic, and powerful).
The color, the suggestive dancing, and the vocal performances are all top notch. And how can we forget the cinematography? Liza making love to the camera in "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret," Joel Grey's ridiculously appealing Emcee in "Money, Money," and, as already stated the final money-winning shot are all wonderful. Where musicals like "Chicago" fail is where "Cabaret" succeeded: in creating a splendid mix of "razzle dazzle," heart, and social commentary. Indeed, THIS "Cabaret" improved on the originals musical and production values, paving the way for the 1998 revival -- and making cinematic history in the process.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Engrossing, Perplexing, Jan. 30 2004
By 
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
I would like to begin by saying that this is a great movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an engaging story of genuine human emotion and the need for fulfillment against the grain of common society. This is a very good movie. But I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this film. The story following the lives of an American expatriot cabaret singer and an expatriot English tutor in their struggles with love greed and survival in Weimer Republic Germany is honest and entertaining and the political subplot (I should really call it the major underlying theme) of the rise of Nazism and the dehumanization of Germany is thought provoking and sometimes tragic. The scene in which the youth gets up and sings the rousing patriotic song only to have the camera role back and disclose to the audience that he is a Hitler youth is almost frightening in the sharp change of emotions it ellicits from the viewer. The Cabaret song sequences serve to highlight certain themes and link the story together quite nicely. The ending is absolutely brilliant. And yet, with all these wonderful attributes I still can't decide whther or not I like this movie, and I can't explain why. I guess the only way to find out what you will think is to see it for yourself. I will say it's one of those movies that stays with you.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What a shame...., Jan. 11 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
This great movie classic and several others by Bob Fosse are sold to the public in some of the lousiest DVD productions I've seen. There are hardly any extras, actually there are none, with the honorable exception of recently issued "All That Jazz". The whole idea with DVD's is to offer consumers and movie lovers something they did not have on VHS. Benefits of DVD technology are conspicuously missing with this DVD and many others. That is the only reason I am giving Cabaret one star. The review posted here should assist customers with their purchase and since this is such a poor DVD package, I refuse to buy it. I suspect there will be re-issues in several years which only means more money out of your pocket - just because the product was not offered in proper production the first time arround. If this sounds like deja vu, you're right - remember all the "remastered" audio CD's that you have to buy all over again. Shame on the entertainment industry and their lousy products. They are fighting the piracy but inviting it with such behavior.
Max
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, wie wunderbar..., Dec 5 2003
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
Unlike 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and 'Tommy', Fosse's 1970's homage to everything 1930's is that rare thing - a celebrated cult (and mainstream) musical that even now, almost 30 years after its initial release, still hasn't lost its sparkle.
'Cabaret' deals with the story of a penniless writer (Michael York), who, upon arriving in pre-Hitler Berlin, meets and falls in love with a lounge singer named Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli). His life is turned upside-down by social and sexual revolution, played out against the backdrop of a city broken by depression and crying out for change.
It's the depth of emotion in this movie that gives it the edge over its contemporaries. The Jewish Vs. Christian love story provides a metaphor for the pre-Nazi turmoil experienced by 1930's Berliners, and Marisa Berenson gives one of her best performances as the Landauer heiress plagued by uncomfortable emotion and anti-semitic feeling. Similarly, Helmut Greim's performance as the wealthy, if somewhat sleazy, playboy Maximillian von Heune, provides us with an insight into cloak-and-dagger attitudes toward wealth and sexuality, prevalant at the time.
York's performance as the hapless Brian Roberts is very good indeed, but York has almost always played this sort of character - weedy Englishman with hidden depths. He does it well, however, and we truly believe that he is enthralled by the exotic Sally. But it's all Minnelli's show anyway, and her once-in-a-lifetime performance as Sally is the true heart of this picture. She is reckless yet innocent, another metaphor for pre-Nazi Germany. Crying out for love, yet deliberately eschewing it when it does eventually come her way, we too are sucked into her web of wide-eyed innocence and ultra-feminine sexuality.
Fosse's stark direction and sleazy, obvious choreography of the Kit-Kat Club, coupled with his detached, almost-bored perspectives on a depression-era city provide a grim and realistic backdrop for these stories. His complete lack of Hollywood-style glamour stands the test of time - why should a sleazy burlesque house in an impoverished city look like a Busby Berkley staircase, anyway? It's in this gritty portrayal of realistic poverty and living on the edge that Cabaret shines, with ugly, overweight dancing girls and a malevolent, amoral Emcee (the excellent Joel Gray) fuelling the fire of a doomed train on a one-way track.
The DVD extras are also rather good, interviews abound and there's some interesting comments to be had from the production team.
All in all, 'Cabaret' still shines as a cinematic masterpiece; a cautionary tale of love and infatuation. It's not a feel-good musical, but then again, very few of those are as worthwhile as this. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life In the Cabaret, Nov. 28 2003
By 
This review is from: Cabaret (DVD)
"Cabaret" is one of the best releases of 1972, living up to "The Godfather". It won eight Oscars, including Best Director. Its combination of glitz, glamour, sex, ulginess, and turmoil wonderfully express themselves in the movie. It offers a unique musical taste not often seen. The plot was written wonderfully. They always offer surprise interest scenes when the audience least expects it. The glamour in the Kit Kat Klub switching to the Nazi troop march symbolize such surprise. Such hardtimes are expressed accurately as it happened when Hitler began taking over Germany. Daring sex scenes and sex talk offer further respect to the crew. This places them ahead of their time. Some may say "Cabaret" is also ahead of modern day time. The costume designs were craften beautifully. The drag queens resemble real-life women, a difficult task to master. Every piece of clothing accurately desplicts 1930's german styles, in and out of the cabaret. All the songs were written brilliantly. Liza Minelli deserved her Oscar win for Best Actress for her role as a greedy cabaret performer Sally Bowles. Her singing is unforgettable. Amazingly, she was only 24. Michael York's role as a man who converts to heterosexuality with a relationship with Bowles is also wonderful. He was wrongfully dissed for the Oscar nomination for Best Actor. All other performances are also brilliant, major or minor. "Cabaret" is a great musical for those looking for something unique. It still contains the attraction spark enflamed 31 years ago. This will leave many audiences entertained for many more years.
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Cabaret
Cabaret by Bob Fosse (DVD - 2003)
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