mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

August 19, 2020

Episode 481: All That Jazz (1979)

Special Guests: Alan Heim, Keith Gordon, Deborah Geffner
Guest Co-Hosts: Emma Westwood, David Kittredge

It's showtime, folks! On this episode we're talking about Bob Fosse's 1979 film All That Jazz. It’s definitely not an autobiographical picture about a choreographer slash director (Roy Scheider) who's working on his previous film about a groundbreaking stand-up comedian (Cliff Gorman) while rehearsing his next Broadway sensation. It's definitely not about Fosse facing down the specter of mortality and expressing it the best way he knows how.

David Kittredge and Emma Westwood join Mike to discuss the film. Interviews include editor Alan Heim, actress Deborah Geffner, and our old friend Keith Gordon.

Listen/Download Now:

Buy All That Jazz on Blu-Ray
Buy Fosse by Sam Wasson
Buy Fosse/Verdon on DVD
Listen to the All That Jazz episode on the See/Hear Podcast!

Original Soundtrack - Various Artists
"Bye Bye Life" - Ben Vereen & Roy Scheider



  1. I loved listening to your initial discussion - very perceptive. I enjoyed thinking about the movie from a new perspective. The biggest revelation I got from it was, "This is the man Fosse wishes he was. Joe Gideon wouldn't have made All That Jazz." Fosse did go and do the same thing after his heart attack. He was unsentimental and cynical. I don't think Fosse had the perspective to step back and examine why Joe Gideon did that, because he was that person. He didn't think of himself as a likeable character. Star 80 was consumed by his cynicism. He was a nihilist.

    A few things I wanted to correct: Young Joe's tap dancing was all done by the beautiful dancer John Sowinsky, not Keith.

    The opening number was at the actual Palace Theater on Broadway. That wasn't recreated. It was the rehearsal studio at Broadway Arts that they recreated for the rehearsal scenes and Take Off With Us.

    All of the sets and all of the details were from Bob. The whole Bye Bye Love set was his idea. They had it done and we waited for days while they completely redid it, covering everything with mylar at his direction.

    I'm glad you mentioned Kathryn Doby. She had his complete confidence. She knew every step he choreographed, and remembered all his choreography and could teach it like no one else.

    There was an interesting juxtaposition of artifice and reality - Kathryn Doby as herself, Heim as himself, Roy with earpieces, "showbiz", both Fosse and not Fosse.

  2. At present the film of the staged version of Pippin, directed by Bob Fosse and David Sheehan, is available for free on Amazon with a Prime membership.

  3. The "Snake in the Grass Billie Jean mashup" video (posted 2015) that you have linked is actually a much lower quality and edited version of the original video called, "Bob Fosse + Billie Jean" (posted 2009) https://youtu.be/QUlEBhGgEe0.