You could talk about all sorts of things concerning this film, but the thing that struck me the most was the wonderful pacing of the film. The director Bob Fosse was able to choreograph not only the musical numbers, but the entire film. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the film is about an Englishman who moves into an apartment complex with an American cabaret dancer in 1931 Berlin. Over the course of the film a few other characters come in and out, the two dabble in love, but the heart of the film is the contrast between the cabaret show and the ever increasing presence of Nazis. At first they are kicked out of the club. By the end of the film, they make up most of the audience.
What makes it all works so well is that the songs are in service of the story, in fact they are part of the cabaret show rather then spontaneous bursts of singing in the street. But when the performance stops, it somehow continues in the dialogue, the shot composition, and the cutting. This is a fantastic accomplishment when most musicals are numbers hung on a clothesline plot. The film definitely lives up to it’s reputation.