Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Bob Fosse made five films in his too-short life, and for three of them he was nominated as Best Director. He won for only Cabaret. This one had the bad fortune to be up against Chinatown and The Godfather, Part II. In most other years I think it could have won. It’s an amazing achievement in writing and directing, and has two of the best performances of the year from Dustin Hoffman and Valerie Perrine. Lenny Bruce’s story is such a sad one, almost impossible to believe these days. He was persecuted for using language in nightclubs that you can hear every day on television these days. He became obsessed with it, reading from the transcripts of his various trials—many of which are reenacted word for word here, and almost every word brings a hollow laugh from me—instead of entertaining the audience. He and his stripper wife Honey sank deeper and deeper into heroin addiction until it finally killed him. This is a total classic, and I’m so glad I watched it again for the first time since 1974.