Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

Joe Gideon: Do you suppose Stanley Kubrick ever gets depressed?
[repeated line]
Joe Gideon: It's showtime, folks!
Angelique: Do you believe in love?
Joe Gideon: I believe in saying, "I love you."
Davis Newman: This chick, man, without the benefit of dying herself, has broken down the process of dying into five stages: anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Sounds like a Jewish law firm. 'Good morning, Angerdenialbargainingdepressionacceptance!'.
Joe Gideon: [after a run-through, for VIPS, of a critical number in the show he's rehearsing] Ooh, I don't think they liked it... what do you think?
Audrey Paris: [not smiling] I don't know about the others... but I think it's the best work you've ever done - you son of a bitch.
Joe Gideon: To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting.
[Generally attributed to Karl Wallenda, who had died in a fall the year before the film came out]
Joe Gideon: [to God, while wandering the hospital after surgery] What's the matter, don't you like musical comedy?
Joe Gideon: [Joe is dying] Hey, at least I won't have to lie to you any more.
Dancer Backstage: Fuck him! He never picks me!
Dancer Backstage: Honey, I *did* fuck him and he never picks me either.
Paul Dann: [after dancer strips during rehearsal of 'Take off with Us'] Now Sinatra will never record it.
[Kate Jagger has just finished setting up a dinner date, probably to make Joe jealous]
Joe Gideon: Who was that?
Kate Jagger: Michael Graham
Joe Gideon: Who is Michael Graham?
Kate Jagger: A dancer in my ballet class.
Joe Gideon: Straight or gay?
Kate Jagger: What do you mean?
Joe Gideon: I mean, is he looking to get laid or is he looking for Mr. Right?
Kate Jagger: He's straight.
Kate Jagger: And tall...
[turns to leave]
Joe Gideon: [frowning] Michael Graham is a very tall name...
Joe Gideon: [leaves room slowly but comes running back]
Joe Gideon: Hohoho... how dare you use my phone! My phone! To call someone who is not gay!
Kate Jagger: [laughing]
Kate Jagger: I see! You can go out with any girl. Any girl...
Kate Jagger: [pointing]
Joe Gideon: That's right! I go out with any girl... I stay in with you.
Joe Gideon: Kate, I try to give you everything I can give.
Kate Jagger: Oh, you give all right; presents, clothes. I just wish you weren't so generous with your cock.
Joe Gideon: [pauses in thought] That's good. I can use that.
Joe Gideon: Sometimes I don't know where the bullshit ends and the truth begins.
O'Connor Flood: Folks! What can I tell you about my next guest? This cat allowed himself to be adored, but not loved. And his success in show business was matched by failure in his personal relationship bag, now - that's where he *really* bombed. And he came to believe that show business, work, love, his whole life, even himself and all that jazz, was bullshit. He became numero uno game player - uh, to the point where he didn't know where the games ended, and the reality began. Like, for this cat, the only reality - is death, man. Ladies and gentlemen, let me lay on you a so-so entertainer, not much of a humanitarian, and this cat was never *nobody's* friend. In his final appearance on the great stage of life - uh, you can applaud if you want to - Mr. Joe Gideon!
O'Connor Flood: Give it to me! Bye Bye Life, Bye Bye happiness, Hello loneliness, I think he's gonna die. Gonna die. Bye Bye Life, Bye Bye happiness, Hello emptiness, I think he's gonna die. Gonna die. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Goodbye your life, Goodbye.
Joe Gideon: [looking at Audrey while heading to surgery] If I die, I'm sorry for all the bad things I did to you.
Joe Gideon: [turns to Kate] And if I live, I'm sorry for all the bad things I'm gonna do to you.
Joe Gideon: I always look for the worst in other people.
Angelique: A little of yourself in them?
Joe Gideon: A little of myself. And generally, I find it.
Joe Gideon: The pain is gone. I'm okay. Nothing wrong with me, a rewrite of the show wouldn't cure. A couple of good jokes is what I need.
Audrey Paris: [Reading from Joe's script] You see, Sammy, in California everybody needs a car. I got a friend who bought a Mercedes just to get to the bathroom.
Assistant Insurance Man: You could be the first show on Broadway to make a profit... without ever really opening!
Audrey Paris: Quick. Tell me. What was the name of the girl in Philadelphia, the blonde with the television show?
Joe Gideon: Ah, the blonde with the television show. The blonde with the television show in Philadelphia? I remember that girl's name. I remember that girl's name because that girl meant something to me. The blonde with the television show - her name was Sweetheart!
Audrey Paris: [Audrey shakes her head] Uh-uh.
Joe Gideon: Honey?
Audrey Paris: Nope.
Joe Gideon: Baby.
Joe Gideon: I can't remember her name.
Audrey Paris: [frustrated] Dorothy. Her name was Dorothy!
Joe Gideon: Who cares? I can't remember her name.
Michelle Gideon: It's just that I keep wondering, Dad. Why don't you get married again?
Joe Gideon: I don't get married again because I can't find anyone I dislike enough to inflict that kind of torture on.
Lucas Sergeant: [kissing up] I think of you as a father, Jonesy.
Jonesy Hecht: [condescending] And you, a son to me.
Joe Gideon: No, nothing I ever do is good enough. Not beautiful enough, it's not funny enough, it's not deep enough, it's not anything enough. Now, when I see a rose, that's perfect. I mean, that's perfect. I want to look up to God and say, "How the hell did you do that? And why the hell can't I do that?"
Angelique: Now that's probably one of your better con lines.
Joe Gideon: Yeah, it is. But that doesn't mean I don't mean it.
Davis Newman: You know what death with dignity is, man? You don't drool.
Angelique: That's very theatrical, Joe.
Joe Gideon: A great entertainer...
O'Connor Flood: A great entertainer!
Joe Gideon: A great Humanitarian...
O'Connor Flood: A great Humanitarian
Joe Gideon: And my dear friend of 25 years...
O'Connor Flood: And my dearest, dearest friend for 20 years!
Kate Jagger: [Joe turns off the TV] You missed by five years!
Joe Gideon: [walking to the bathroom] Oh boy, do I hate show business!
Kate Jagger: Joe, you love show business.
Joe Gideon: Oh that's right. I love show business. I'll go either way.
Joshua Penn: [watching umpteenth rough cut of Gideon's stand-up film] It *is* better. Oh, God, it *is* better.
Joe Gideon: [who has ignored everything Josh said, and is now leaving] Nice talkin' to ya, Josh.
Joe Gideon: [in the editing theater; to the group around him] Anybody got any ideas?
Stacy: Oh, Joe, I really like it, I think it's really funny.
Joe Gideon: Who asked *you*, Stacy?
[repeated line]
Joe Gideon: Don't bullshit a bullshitter.
Victoria: Well, you're right. I'm terrible. I know I'm terrible. I look at the mirror and I'm ashamed. Maybe I should quit. I just can't seem to do anything right.
Joe Gideon: Listen. I can't make you a great dancer. I don't even know if I can make you a good dancer. But, if you keep trying and don't quit, I know I can make you a better dancer. I'd like very much to do that. Stay?
Victoria: Are you going to keep yelling at me?
Joe Gideon: Probably.
Waitress: Are you
Waitress: Lucas Sergeant?
[he nods]
Waitress: Could I have your autograph? I'm an actress, too. You're my favorite director, after Joe Gideon. I'm so sorry your show was a flop.
Lucas Sergeant: [sarcastically as he signs a napkin] Best of luck with your career.
Joe Gideon: Stop smiling! Lay back. Lay back. Hold it, hold it, hold it. Candy, Casey very good. You're gonna do it again Victoria. Gary, Danny, let's go. Stop smiling, its not the high school play. Count! Hold it. Stand on your right foot. Point your left toe. Drop that shoulder. Now, that's not too hard is it? Again!

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