What Musical Made History Before ‘Les Mis’?

Les Miserables made history in 2012 by being the first musical in the genre’s history to have its actors perform the songs live on set. But almost 40 years earlier, Bob Fosse was breaking ground as the director of Cabaret, turning Kander and Ebb’s stage musical into a hugely successful and acclaimed movie.

On February 5, Warner Home Video released Cabaret on Blu-ray for the first time, after subjecting it to an extensive restoration that required more than 1,000 feet of film to be repaired by hand. Meanwhile, a featurette on the disc offers additional insights into the genius of Bob Fosse, still renowned as one of the premiere musical directors of all time.

“Bob Fosse was completely brilliant in getting everybody to contribute the very best possible work they could do,” says Alan Heim, editor of Fosse’s All That Jazz.

“We all knew that to work for Bob, the film was going to be different, it was going to be in some way wonderful.”

Liza Minelli, who starred in Cabaret for Fosse – after being denied a role in the stage version – says that the director was protective, supportive and tough, in equal measures.

“He was really good – and he protected you,” she says. “And he was hard on you, if you weren’t doing it right. But if you were trying, and you understood direction, he loves you.”

Cabaret is available everywhere now on Blu-ray. Have you seen it? If so – or if you’re planning to – let us know in the comments section below: how well does the film hold up today?