The 1979 film stars Roy Scheider ("Jaws") as the Fosse stand-in and Jessica Lange as a sensual character luring him on. Fosse directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Robert Alan Aurthur, and created memorable musical fantasia sequences. In tone and style, the film has been said to echo the work of Fellini. Critic Leonard Maltin calls the picture Fosse's "self-indulgent" homage to "8-1/2."
The R-rated film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. The DVD's special features include theatrical trailer(s), scene-specific commentary by Roy Scheider, interviews with Roy Scheider, five Bob Fosse clips and widescreen anamorphic format.
The lead character is not shown in the most positive light: He's a womanizing, pill-popping, heart-diseased monomaniac.
The cast includes Ann Reinking (as the girlfriend), Leland Palmer (as the ex-wife), John Lithgow, daughter Nicole Fosse, Keith Gordon, Ben Vereen, Ben Masters, Wallace Shawn and Theresa Merritt. Cliff Gorman plays the lead actor in the Fosse character's latest film, which looks like the filmmaker's own "Lenny," about comedian Lenny Bruce. Gorman play Bruce on the Broadway stage, but lost the role to Dustin Hoffman when Fosse made a subsequent movie based on Bruce's life.
The film's original score is by Ralph Burns, though the picture is punctuated with existing songs, including "Everything Old is New Again," "On Broadway," "There'll Be Some Changes Made" and "Who's Sorry Now?" The film's sexy dance number, "Come Fly With Us —Three Pas De Deux," "There'll Be Some Changes Made" and "Who's Sorry Now?" were recreated in the Tony Award winning revue, Fosse.
The Fosse-directed film, "Sweet Charity," was released on DVD in March 2003.