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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 19, 2013.
Agreed, now if they would just release 1972's best "Man of La Mancha'
I did order the Synapse release because of the reviews but have canceled due to your remark. Thank you. I look forward to the future.
Nope, that's not it :p
I'm with you. I guess few people on this board saw the original production of Cabaret and therefore have no idea of what it was like. I really liked the film, which I saw at a sneak preview at the Village Theater at least six months before it came out, when it was separate sound and picture. At that time, the infamous line "Screw Brian" was in its original form (F-word Brian). And I'm not sure doing the stage version as a film with no changes would have worked. But that original Harold Prince/Ron Field staging was one of the greatest ever done on Broadway - the revival, for me, was no good and nowhere near as powerful. The film is one I enjoy returning to, but it's not a patch on the butt cheeks of its theatrical predecessor.
For those lucky enough to have gotten tickets, as part of TCM's Road To Hollywood the restored version of Cabaret will be shown January 31, at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC where it premiered in 1972. Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, and, Maria Berenson scheduled to attend in person and interviewed I believe by Robert Osborn.
I saw the Broadway original and the movie, and to me they're different animals. Not only have the book numbers been excised (except for "Tomorrow Belongs to Me but even that's done differently on stage), but the main male character has gone from Cliff to Brian with a shared love interest with another man, Sally has gone from a medicore cabaret performer to a powerhouse, and the secondary love story changes an older couple to a younger one. So, the two seem like different things to me, and that's perfectly OK. It might be interesting to see the stage version made into a film one day since it is so different, and that way they could not only reinstate the book numbers and the older characters but give Sally and the MC back their original numbers which "Mein Herr" and "Money, Money" took the place of. Those are great songs, BTW, but from seeing the theater version first and playing that cast album so many hundreds of times, I really missed those numbers.
If this happened it would be more likely to happen on TV. I believe they will be doing the stage version of the Sound of Music on TV later this year. If that is successful perhaps they will do other TV adaptions of Broadway musicals .
As long as they got a talented director and a worthy cast, I'd be fine with a TV-adaptation.
A memory from the time when few films had much circulation other than in mono: I believe that CABARET was 35mm 4 track and when it was at The (London) Odeon Swiss Cottage, a very large screen theatre 4 miles from The West End, I phoned to ask if they were showing it in stereo. 'All our films are in stereo' I knew that to be nonsense and so I saw CABARET when new in awful mono optical. I look forward to the Blu-ray to hear it as, or better, than intended for the first time. I saw the stage version last week (It closed last night) and endorse what's being said about the wilful razzamataz introduced by Bob Fosse, including introducing new Broadway Baby type belters for Liza Minelli. Unfortunately the film's songlist has long since been adopted by stage versions so it's impossible to see the show as originally presented when Sally Bowles was portrayed, as created (or remembered) by Christopher Isherwood, as a second rate somewhat tragic figure.
My introduction to CABARET was as a child...and it wasn't the film I came to know, but the music. Countless long-journey drives in my parent's car with the 8-Track playing the film soundtrack over and over again gave me a full taste of the film's music. I also learned a few German words and phrases. So, by the time I saw the film some years later, I felt as if I knew it. I also had the pleasure of seeing a snippet from the restored Blu-ray of CABARET with our HTF group while visiting the Motion Picture Imaging facility this past October. The print looked outstanding. We learned that an entire reel of the film had a scratch going down its side. All of that had been erased. I think CABARET will stand as another one of those fine examples of digital restoration magic that the folks at MPI are known for. It should also remind people that Warner continues to put an exorbitant amount of money and effort into many of these films to ensure that they look and sound the very best that they can. In the hands of some other studios, I don't think we would get a product as pristine as this.
I never saw the original Broadway production (but I played the album to death and pored over the score for years). But over the years, even local or regional productions of the show have managed to be stunning and captivating when done with care (and I do mean: stunning and captivating), so I can only imagine what I missed. I was one who went to the movie when it opened and liked certain things, but was largely 'eh', and certainly disappointed when I found the show itself missing in action. (In gutting the show, didn't they return a little more closely to the Isherwood stories? I'm asking in ignorance because I haven't read them myself.) But I was young (weren't we all) and impatient and intolerant of adaptations. Now, especially having not watched the movie in many years, this restoration beckons me to return with a different set of eyes and ears, and that is a good thing. I'm almost positive that from the snippets seen in recent times, bolstered by the review above, I will be finding it a worthy and thrilling thing in its own right. (I'm still not used to having Amazon Prime! Went right there and ordered it, and will hopefully be dedicating Tuesday evening to this.)
Cabaret, the original Bway production is a completely different animal than the Bob Fosse film. Two different mediums. While I enjoyed the film the original Hal Prince Bway production starring Joel Grey and Jill Haworth with a truly tremendous supporting cast was one of the all time great theatre productions.
I look at the stage play and the movie as two separate things, and I like each one differently. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible now to see a performance of the stage play that does not have "Maybe This Time" and "Money, Money" interpolated. Great songs, but they just don't belong in the stage version, IMO. Also, almost everyone cuts the "Meeskite" number, a song I really like, and is so in keeping with the story. Similarly, it is impossible to see a stage production of "The Sound of Music" that doesn't interpolate "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good". Again, great songs, but I'd like to be able to see the stage versions of both of these shows done as written. I am very much looking forward to this blu-ray, as I agree with everyone else that this movie has never gotten its due on home video. I am so pleased to read Mr. Harris' positive evaluation.
Have any original stereo audio elements ever surfaced on this? I seem to remember some debate on whether it was ever shown in real stereo. I thought the Chase-engineered faux stereo on the DVD was quite good, though.
I believe a new SOUND OF MUSIC tv film is in the works that stays true to the original Bway production.
Very pleased to hear your recommendation, Mr. Harris. Also, are you at liberty to discuss any further details on a release of Triumph? It'd be nice to see a well-done BD of Riefenstahl's masterpiece. It could use some significant restorative work IMO.
The only time Cabaret was in stereo was when I saw it in interlock (separate sound and picture) at the preview at the Village in Westwood. It was never shown in stereo anywhere during its original release - mono only. I really can't think of any 35mm early 1970s films that were in stereo but maybe there were? But Cabaret wasn't one - this I know for certain.
BTW, for anyone who would like to see a bit of Ron Field's amazing staging of the opening number - it's easy to find on the web - it was shown on the very first Tony Awards broadcast.
It's also nearly impossible to see a local or regional stage production of "The Sound of Music" in which Maria Von Trapp doesn't sport a British accent.
Thoroughly Modern Millie from 1967 was 35mm 4 track mag though not sure if it was stereo.