Oscar History

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Sally Bowles' Father.

Inspired by his experiences as a young man in 1930s Germany, author Christopher Isherwood (who was born on a day like today in 1904) created Sally Bowles as a symbol of the joyful decadence of the era. Sally first appeared in a novella carrying her name and then appeared once more in Goodbye Berlin, Isherwood's most famous work. Although Isherwood created many other memorable characters, (he wrote A Single Man) Sally remains the most iconic of his creations, having won awards and accolades for actresses who played her like Julie Harris (who won her first Tony playing her) and most famously Liza Minnelli who brought her to life in the musical Cabaret.

Why not celebrate Isherwood by rewatching Bob Fosse's masterpiece? Who are your favorite Isherwood characters? Which of his stories would you like to see as a movie?

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Reader Comments (9)

Sally Bowles is one of my favorite characters and Cabaret is one of my favorite films. Gorgeous masterpiece to me.

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The movie is a classic and so well put together... it deserved its awards.. It is the only movie that I have liked the "hammy" Liza in ....maybeThe Sterile Cuckoo , Too>

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

One of my top five films of all time - but when you say ""Bob Fosse's masterpiece" all singular like that it makes it sound like he only had one which ... You're counting wrong ! ;)

CABARET would be good for what ails me tonite. But alas my mon who I am visiting is a big Cabaret hater

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Am I the only one who thought Cabaret should've beaten The Godfather for BP? I'm probably just too biased. :P

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Natasha Richardson's Sally Bowles is my favorite—there's an authenticity, and tragedy in those recordings and videos I've seen of her Tony-winning run on Broadway. I like the idea of Sally better as a rough English girl who's not brimming with natural musical talent but full of charisma than as a polished American Minnelli. It helps me to root for her and to "buy" where her story ends. I'd imagine Judi Dench's version was not unsimilar.

It also doesn't help me love the movie version that so much grit has been scrubbed from it, anyway.


August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

Emotions uncontrollably attached to CABARET. Played the Emcee here at CMU once -- still one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterMatt Zurcher

Matt -- wow. I can't imagine how intense that role must be to play. Tell me you have video!

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I have no idea how this happened but Cabaret played on PBS around 1976 or 1977 I'd say. It came on at midnight or so. I managed to "steal" our family's portable black and white TV and watched it from about two feet away so that I could keep the sound low. I was 14 or 15 at the time.

It was the worst possible viewing experience and yet even then I thought it was the greatest movie I'd ever seen. I've probably seen it 20 times since then and never fail to be captivated.

Can a movie change your life? I think so.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

I really need to see Cabaret again. It's been a really long time. I remember loving it, especially Liza at her most electric and Geoffrey Unsworth's Oscar-winning photography. But at the time I felt it got really soapy, which isn't necessarily bad, but I felt it lost some of its edge toward the conclusion. For me, Liza's greatest performance is in New York New York, which is a vastly underrated gem despite some obvious missteps. She really does a lovely job of balancing the show-stopping Liza with the understated, sweet Liza. Simply sublime.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy
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