Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Kevin Winkler

Fosse Time!: innovation and influence in the films of Bob Fosse

Despite numerous honors throughout his illustrious career, including being the only director to earn the “triple crown” of show business awards—the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony—all in one year, Bob Fosse remains underrated in terms of his influence on the presentation of dance on film. From Sweet Charity, his first film as a director, through his multiple Oscar-winning Cabaret, to his autobiographical, Felliniesque All That Jazz, Fosse created a template for filming dance that has remained influential and remarkably vital years after these films first appeared.

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Who danced it best?: Bob Fosse’s “Hot Honey Rag”

The revival of Chicago, the 1975 Bob Fosse musical, has been playing on Broadway and around the world for more than two decades, and is now the longest running American musical in Broadway history. That’s quite a turnaround from its original production. In 1975, Chicago had the bad luck to open the same season as A Chorus Line, and its cynical depiction of 1920s Windy City murder and corruption didn’t connect with audiences like the earnest, striving dancers who put their lives on the line for a chance at Broadway gold.

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