All That Jazz

1979’s All That Jazz, starred Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ben Vereen, Cliff Gorman & Ann Reinking.

Nominated for 9 Oscars, winning 4, the film is based on Bob Fosse's real-life heart attack while directing the original 1975 Broadway production of Chicago.

Many of the characters in the film are also based on real-life characters from the New York theater world.

When first released on video, All That Jazz was the first videocassette to have a stereo soundtrack.

Fosse was an actor, dancer, choreographer, director, screenwriter, film editor and film director. He won an record eight Tony Awards for choreography, as well as one for direction and was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning as best director for Cabaret.

He won that Oscar over Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather. In addition to the Academy Award, in 1973 he also won a Tony for directing Pippin, and an Emmy for directing the TV concert Liza with a Z. He's the only director to win all three major industry prizes in a single year.

Watch for Fosse's 16-year-old daughter, who appears briefly as a dancer, stretching in front of a vending machine, and is asked, "Can't you do that somewhere else?".

Roy Scheider we all know from Jaws. He was originally cast as "Michael" in The Deer Hunter, as the second movie of a 3-movie deal with Universal Studios. But because he didn’t believe that the character would travel around the world to find his friend, he quit the picture.

Studio executives were furious, but they agreed to let him out of his contract if he made Jaws 2. Robert DeNiro got the part in The Deer Hunter and Scheider later said that pulling out of that film was the career decision he most regretted.

He was Oscar-nominated twice, for The French Connection and for this film.
Ann Reinking plays Kate, which is a part based on herself. Even though she and Fosse were having an affair at the time, she had to audition several times before she was cast.

She had a relationship with Bob Fosse, both personally and professionally, during the 1970s, even though Fosse was separated from, but still married to, Gwen Verdon. Fosse actually never divorced Verdon and they were still married when he died in 1987, of a heart attack. Verdon never remarried and died in 2000.

John Lithgow portrays Lucas Sergeant, a character loosely based on the real-life director/choreographer Michael Bennett, best known for his work on Dreamgirls and A Chorus Line.

Lithgow received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Roberta in The World According to Garp in 1982 and a second Oscar nomination followed for Terms of Endearment in 1983.

He was actually called in to replace another actor in Terms of Endearment & his part was filmed in 3 days during a break while he was filming the original Footloose. You may also remember him from Harry & the Hendersons and the TV show Third Rock From the Sun.

Lithgow has won five Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2005, he became the first actor ever to deliver a commencement speech at Harvard University and lately he’s been on the Showtime series Dexter.

Look for CCH Pounder, playing Nurse Blake in her first big screen role. You may recognize her from Avatar and Law & Order: SVU.

And keep an eye out for Wallace Shawn, from The Princess Bride, who appears in only his third film, as the assistant insurance man.