In Berlin in 1931, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) meets British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York), who is finishing his university studies. Despite Brian's confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, but the arrival of the wealthy and decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem) complicates matters for them both. This love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic.
- Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles
- Michael York as Brian Roberts
- Helmut Griem as Maximilian von Heune
- Joel Grey as Master of Ceremonies
- Fritz Wepper as Fritz Wendel
- Marisa Berenson as Natalia Landauer
- Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel as Fräulein Schneider
- Ralf Wolter as Herr Ludwig
- Helen Vita as Fräulein Kost
- Sigrid von Richthofen as Fräulein Mayr
- Gerd Vespermann as Bobby
- Georg Hartmann as Willi
- Ricky Renee as Elke, transvestite in Kit Kat Club
- Oliver Collignon as Nazi youth (Mark Lambert, singing voice) (uncredited)
The Kit-Kat Dancers
- Kathryn Doby
- Inge Jaeger
- Angelika Koch
- Helen Velkovorska
- Gitta Schmidt
- Louise Quick
Roger Ebert gave a positive review, saying: "This is no ordinary musical. Part of its success comes because it doesn't fall for the old cliché that musicals have to make you happy. Instead of cheapening the movie version by lightening its load of despair, director Bob Fosse has gone right to the bleak heart of the material and stayed there well enough to win an Academy Award for Best Director."
In 2013, film critic Peter Bradshaw listed Cabaret at number one on his list of "Top 10 musicals", describing it as "satanically catchy, terrifyingly seductive ... directed and choreographed with electric style by Bob Fosse ... Cabaret is drenched in the sexiest kind of cynicism and decadent despair."