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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Minnelli and Cabaret stars reunite

Liza Minnelli walked the red carpet for the 40th anniversary of Cabaret
Liza Minnelli walked the red carpet for the 40th anniversary of Cabaret

Liza Minnelli and her fellow Cabaret stars have reunited on the red carpet for the restored film's debut in Los Angeles.

The veteran actress was joined by Joel Grey and Michael York for the musical's relaunch at the opening of the four-day TCM Classic Film Festival, marking the film's 40th anniversary.

Liza, 66, whose turn as cabaret singer Sally Bowles captured a best actress Academy Award and cemented her young stardom, said making Cabaret was a joyful "secret," filmed in Munich and far away from meddling US studio bosses.

Director Bob Fosse "got away with murder. We all did," she added.

"We'd take chances, and the studio would send notes like, 'Too cloudy. It will break up on drive-in (screens),'" she recalled. "Fosse would read that out loud, tear it up and throw it over his shoulder - in front of the whole cast and crew."

Set in 1930s Berlin, with German life darkening under the Nazi Party's rise, the film was based on the 1966 Broadway musical adapted from Christopher Isherwood's short novels.

Michael starred as Sally's boyfriend and Helmut Griem played the wealthy lover shared by both in a then-rare movie depiction of bisexuality.

Joel portrayed the grotesquely painted master of ceremonies at the nightclub where Sally performed, and also won an Oscar, for supporting actor.

Cabaret has been sold on standard-definition DVD from Warner Bros. But it was unavailable in high-def or for digital presentation because of a vertical scratch that ran through 1,000 feet, or 10 minutes, of one of its reels.

Repair attempts using automated digital processing failed, so all 1.4 million frames of the damaged reel were painted by an operator using a computer stylus. The restored version is expected to play on US network TCM later this year.

PA Media

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