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Sally Bowles' abortion in Cabaret

Was it meant to be a symbol of the Weimar Republic's decadence, along with the drinking, easy sex, and the cabaret itself? I never read Isherwood's book, but I thought the film was sensitive about her abortion.

by Anonymousreply 2311/01/2013

Could be OP. In Sally's mind she put her career first and threw out her relationsip with Cliff (Brian in the film) along with the baby. In the 1987 script for the musical and in the film the character of Cliff/Brian was bisexual. It was made clear that was one reason Sally feared the future with him although I still think she thought more of her career.

Sally's M.O. was Who cares about politics? Come to the party.

by Anonymousreply 110/30/2013

If you feel that there's something inherently decadent in a woman with an unwanted pregnancy deciding not to force herself to go through with having it because LIFE.

by Anonymousreply 210/30/2013

I don't think it was meant to be a symbol of anything, just what that character would do in that situation, and provides a neat ending to the relationship when the show needs wrapping up.

Who the hell wants to marry a boring, bisexual English academic, and live a life of quiet desperation.

by Anonymousreply 310/30/2013

Actually, my memory is that it is an extremely traumatic event for her in the book and the non-musical play. Suddenly she understands that her behavior has consequences. I remember the post abortion scene as played by Julie Harris was heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be on Youtube.

by Anonymousreply 410/30/2013

OP, surely a Google search would provide you with the information you seek. Why treat us as if we're your personal literature counselors or researchers, unless it is because you are too lazy to infuse your threads with anything except your demanding nature and rather petulant refusal to think for yourself.

And I shall earn my right to tell you that by telling you that the abortion was included in the first treatment of the story ("Sally Bowles"), although it required sensitivity and approval from the person who served as the real-life inspiration for Sally, who actually had the abortion described.

by Anonymousreply 510/30/2013

What a penantic asshole you are, R5. Every topic on DL can be Googled, so why have discussion boards at all? Move along, Toots, if the subject doesn't interest you.

by Anonymousreply 610/30/2013

Some of us haven't seen the movie yet.

by Anonymousreply 710/30/2013

[quote]What a penantic asshole you are

Would it be too penantic of me...?

by Anonymousreply 810/30/2013

It was supposed to be symbolic of Cliff's "bisexuality" and quest for a "normal" domestic life

by Anonymousreply 910/30/2013

r5=on the rag

by Anonymousreply 1010/30/2013

When a man has his sexual horizons widened, but still wants a "normal life" with a house and family, that usually means he's going to want a wife who will attend to the kirche-kuche-kinder and ignore the cheating.

I'd have an abortion too, if a guy like that got me pregnant, and I don't even have a uterus.

by Anonymousreply 1110/30/2013

How long would it be before we both started resenting each other and yes, I have this foolish dream that I may amount to something as an actress.

by Anonymousreply 1210/30/2013

The stage version and the movie are not similar. Yes, the movie is a masterpiece but it's not the original CABARET. Half of the songs are gone and so is the secondary couple.

by Anonymousreply 1310/30/2013

What R6 said! You must be a lot of fun at parties R5.

by Anonymousreply 1410/30/2013

Mr. Fosse told me because I was a Method actress that I needed to have an abortion in real life!

by Anonymousreply 1510/30/2013

plus Cabaret has been rewritten with every revival and Cliff got progressively gayer

by Anonymousreply 1610/30/2013

The movie is an improvement on the play. Don't get all goofy about the play.

The movie is BAM DAMN, perfectly cast and beautifully constructed. The best musical film ever made, because it is no longer really a musical.

by Anonymousreply 1710/31/2013

R17, why trash the play? The film and stage versions of Cabaret exist perfectly in their own little mediums. They're both different and wonderful. Personally I find the play a bit darker and faster paced. The movie slows down quite a bit at parts.

by Anonymousreply 1811/01/2013

I remember reading an interview with Susan Egan which described Sam Mendes' take on it. The abortion is the only rational decision Sally makes in the musical. She'd be a terrible mother.

Personally, I think the libretto nails it: the baby was merely a manifestation of her and Cliff's desires/fears and desperation. The life they imagined around it wasn't real. For Sally, the baby is a tool to give a borderline personality/drug addict a sense of purpose, achievement and source of unconditional love. For Cliff, the baby is his last grasp at heterosexuality, and, considering the times, normalcy. (It's a shame "Don't Go" got cut by Mendes. "Maybe This Time" is a great, great song, but Sally works as a character without it. Cliff, without "Don't Go", does not.)

Thematically, there's probably something to the view that the baby and the idea of Cliff and Sally living some bland, domestic life together was as much an illusion as the idea that life could go on, as is, in Weimar Berlin. Their clinging to the baby in denial of their true personal natures could be an illusion to the complacency of much of the German population re: the Nazis, and certainly the attitudes of Herr Shultz and Sally in the musical.

The movie and the musical are different beasts. The axing of all the schmaltzy songs about pineapples, "Meeskite" and the out-of-place style of "Don't Tell Mama" and "Sitting Pretty" were eminently sensible on Fosse's part.

I've seen a lot of productions of Cabaret and they always fall apart unless the actors playing Shultz and Schneider are shit hot. That points to a weakness in the piece, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 1911/01/2013

*allusion. My bad.

by Anonymousreply 2011/01/2013

[quote]Mr. Fosse told me because I was a Method actress that I needed to have an abortion in real life!

Mr. Fosse also told me because I was a Method Actress I needed to marry gay men in real life!

by Anonymousreply 2111/01/2013

I've used the expression "I sold my coat" for each abortion.

by Anonymousreply 2211/01/2013

You're an unnecessarily cunty asshole, R5. When I saw the title of this thread, I was excited to jump on and hear others' thoughts on one of my favorite movies.

Are you an unhappy person or are you just naturally this mean?

by Anonymousreply 2311/01/2013
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