Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

All That Jazz (1979)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

All That Jazz (1979)

In director/co-writer Bob Fosse's kinetic, semi-autobiographical musical:

  • the cleverly-edited opening sequence viewed New York choreographer-director Joe Gideon's (Roy Scheider) waking in the morning (with dosages of dexedrine, alka-seltzer, eyedrops, etc.) and repeating his rousing stock phrase in front of the mirror: "It's showtime, folks!"
  • the choreographer's full-stage 'cattle-call' audition dance number was set to George Benson's "On Broadway"
  • the centerpiece of Gideon's new show being rehearsed for his 1975 Broadway theatre production of Chicago, was an erotic, sweaty, hyper-sexualized and sensual Air-Rotica, with the bizarre number "Take Off With Us" featuring sexy Sandahl Bergman ("Going all the way, Won't you climb aboard?")
  • an impromptu top hat song-and-dance act "Everything Old Is New Again" was performed in Joe's apartment by his girlfriend/lover Kate Jagger (Ann Reinking, Fosse's real-life lover essentially playing herself) and pre-teen daughter Michelle Gideon (Erzsebet Foldi)
  • NY choreographer Gideon was overworking himself - he had tempted fate with mental and physical abuse: overwork, cigarettes, womanizing, lack of sleep and amphetamines while preparing for his new show; at night, he was also editing a film (possibly Lenny (1974)); a flirtatious Angelique (Jessica Lange), an angel of Death, made an appearance
  • after workaholic Gideon's heart-attack in a hospital, he was set to undergo open-heart cardiac surgery; Angelique tempted him to leave the world of the living, although he would first look back at his life; musical sequences in the film illustrated the five stages of grief, as he approached death; Gideon feverishly fantasized a dreamy nightmare as he laid on a hospital bed
Angel of Death - and Gideon's Fatal Heart Attack

Operating Table

Death Angelique (Jessica Lange)

Gideon in Body Bag
  • in the spectacular and extravagant 9-minute long finale, wild, imaginatively-surreal hallucinations were experienced by drug-addicted Gideon as he was on life support and underwent open-heart cardiac surgery with gyrating chorus girls in tights with feather fans (some costumed as diagrams of the human circulatory system) dancing around his surgical bed, while he (in a glittering black sequined outfit) and television host O'Connor Flood (Ben Vereen) took center stage to sing "Bye Bye Life" (originally Bye Bye Love); they sang to a heavenly live-studio audience in the dance-musical number; in fact, Gideon choreographed and attended his own hallucinated funeral
"Bye Bye Life"
  • this dark finale ended with Gideon in a body bag being zipped up, as Ethel Merman belted out, in caustic bitter contrast: "There's No Business Like Show Business"; the film then faded to black for the credits.

Drug-Addicted Workaholic Joe Gideon: "It's Showtime, Folks!"

Cattle-Call Audition Dance Number

Rehearsal Scene: "Air-Rotica"

Song-and-Dance Act: "Everything Old is New Again"

Dancers Around His Hospital Bed

Zipped-Up Body Bag


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z