The year is 1929; the place Berlin.
American writer Cliff Bradshaw is looking for adventure and inspiration for his next novel.
He finds both at the Kit Kat Klub, a seedy nightclub populated by would-be artists, petty criminals, whores and transvestites. He soon becomes entranced by the music, the show acts and the ravishing singer and dancer Sally Bowles. Together they start a life of decadence and hedonism. But soon Cliff and Sally find out that some of their new-found friends lead a double life and that there is more than forbidden pleasure lurking in the murky corners of the club. What is more, the political situation in Germany is becoming more and more tense.
“Leave all your troubles outside. In here, life is beautiful” the host of the club says to the audience every night. But how long can the dream last?