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oberon

TURNING POINT on DVD

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I have an old VHS of this movie, now released on DVD....haven't seen the new release but I have always enjoyed the movie, a sort of ballet/soap opera with Anne Bancroft quite convincing as a "mature" ballerina and Shirley MacLaine as her one-time rival, now retired and jealous of Bancroft's successful career. Aside from the famous champagne scene, there are lots of funny, soapy and even moving moments. Leslie Browne (I think it was supposed to be Gelsey's role) is convincing as a slightly air-headed young ballerina and there's quite a bit of Misha dancing. You get many snippets of various ballets, though sometimes the feet are cut off. Then there is the drunken Wili scene...well, if you haven't seen it I don't want to spoil it...and there are a few references to the sexuality of male dancers,

not a common topic in the 70s.

Danilova, Antoinette Sibley and Hilda Morales are on hand, and there is a gorgeous 1/2 minute bit of Martine van Hamel as Odette...watch the hands, they will mesmerize you.

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Leslie Browne's younger sister is named Giannina. Don't see too many of those!!

Giannina

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Yes, Oberon, the Leslie role was originally supposed to be played/danced by Gelsey.

At the time of the film's release, there was much talk about the dance treasures lost "on the cutting room floor." One such was Martine's White Swan pdd. Another the Farrell-Martins Tchaikovsky pdd. Wouldn't it be fantastic if they were included in the DVD as extra features? :wink:

I remember having seen an ABT Giselle with Leslie in the Act II corps and struggling to repress my laughter as my mind superimposed the Turning Point scene over what was before my eyes.

[editing to correct memory malfunction:]

I'm pretty sure Leslie was a soloist by the time TP was in the theaters. She must have been doing Moyna, not corps, when I flashed back to the scene from the film.

Edited by carbro

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You get the last bit of the coda with Farrell and Martins. There was talk of doing a separate release of the full dance pieces but it didn't happen. It would have been great to have those as a DVD extra, but I'm sure there was so much red tape and money involved with estates etc.. that it could not (nor ever) happen.

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I'm sorry that Kirkland did not play the role -- at the very least it would have given us more footage of Kirkland's dancing, of which so little is commercially available. Casting her would also have made Emilia's stunningly rapid rise to the top more convincing, although Leslie Browne has charm and appeal.

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One clip I wish was more extended is Sibley in Giselle. Didn't Sibley suffer a career-ending injury doing the movie?

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What's nice about the movie is seeing Danilova on screen. Even though she is not on nearly enough.

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I may be mistaken, but I recall Darci Kistler mentioning in her autobiography for kids that she was supposed to be in the movie. I recall her saying that her part was left on the cutting room floor (in which case I would love to see that). Anyone else recall?

-amanda

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One clip I wish was more extended is Sibley in Giselle.  Didn't Sibley suffer a career-ending injury doing the movie?

Sibley may have sustained an injury during filming. She did take time off to have and raise her twins. After this, she returned to the Royal Ballet for a short time in the mid-eighties, then retired and was later knighted.

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Sibley was indeed injured during the filming. I'd have liked to see more of her, too. Those hands! those feet!

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I recall Darci Kistler mentioning in her autobiography for kids that she was supposed to be in the movie.

I read the autobio, but I don't remember her mentioning TP. Of course, that doesn't mean that it wasn't there.

She would have been 11 or 12 when the film was shot. Would she have been one of the students at Emilia's parents' school?

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Does anyone know if it will be released in the UK on DVD? I desperately want a copy!

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Does anyone know if it will be released in the UK on DVD?  I desperately want a copy!

Odette, I don't know for sure, but often the best answer is to look at amazon.

UK amazon only offers a Region 1 NTSC version, clearly dispatched from the US.

And I doubt this will do you much good without a multi region combo PAL/NTSC player.

You might want to check niche sites in the UK for unusual DVDs. It may have been released in the UK some time ago and is now OOP.

Just a suggestion.

Richard

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