Hef’s Movie Notes: All That Jazz

By Hugh Hefner

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Hef’s Movie Notes: All That Jazz:

Tonight: Roy Scheider in Bob Fosse’s musical masterpiece All That Jazz, with Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman and Ben Vereen.

The film was directed and co-written by Fosse. And filled with his legendary song and dance choreography.

Bob Fosse’s Broadway triumphs included Chicago and Cabaret but away from the limelight, he was a very troubled, driven man.

All That Jazz is autobiographical.

Surrealistic in nature, the film is based on Fosse’s heart attack while helming the 1975 Broadway production of Chicago, while simultaneously directing Lenny, a film biography of Lenny Bruce.

Richard Dreyfuss was originally cast in the role based on Fosse, but left the project after a week of rehearsals.

That’s how Roy Scheider got the Oscar nominated part.

Most of the characters in the film were inspired by real-life characters from Fosse’s world, frequently portrayed negatively.Ann Reinking plays herself, but she had to audition three times before getting the role.

The Dexedrine bottle shown everyday displayed the address 61 West 58th Street.

Fosse lived at 58 West 58th Street.

Fosse’s daughter is the teenager at the vending machine doing stretches.

The film was shot in Manhattan, the Astoria Studios in Queens and the Palace Theater on Broadway.

The film’s cinematic style was clearly influenced by Fellini’s “8 ½.”

All That Jazz started at Columbia and wound up at Fox. The two studio’s agreed to split the profits, if any.

Filmmaker Fosse blew the original budget at Columbia, who said, “That’s it, no more money!”

But Fox looked at the footage shot to date and agreed to finance the balance of the production.

That’s how Fox obtained distribution and cable TV rights.

The film was released on December 20, 1979.

Variety called All That Jazz ‘A self-important, egomaniacal, wonderfully choreographed, often compelling film which portrays the energetic life, and preoccupation with death, of a director-choreographer who ultimately suffers a heart attack. Scheider gives a superb performance.”

Gene Shalit proclaimed it “A masterwork. An extravagant achievement that will be seen again and again.”

All That Jazz earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actor (Roy Scheider), Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

The film earned Academy Awards for Art Direction, Costume Design, Musical Score and Editing (Alan Heim, who actually plays the mustachioed editor in the picture.)

So now–from 1979—Bob Fosse’s

All That Jazz

It’s showtime!


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