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Nutcracker (1982) with - Joan Collins!


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#1 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 05 September 2002 - 08:23 PM

quite by accident i've fallen on a copy of this one; joan collins plays the director of a dance company in london; she receives board members in her office and "treats" them to views of the unknowing dancers in the studio via a 1-way mirror! a russian ballerina (finola hughes) defects and takes a cab to joan's door, where she is immediately welcomed into the company . her initial impression of freedom in the west is gradually changed as she discovers how unhappy the dancers in the company are, and that it seems that the major method of fundraising is holding large costume parties for rich male benefactors at which the dancers, shall we say, are asked to be extra nice to the gentleman. so the russian ballerina gets her ultimate revenge by going back to russia and taking joan's entire company with her! complete with requisite (for this sort of thing) semi and general nude scenes and one of the most bizarre things i've ever ever seen.

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 September 2002 - 09:01 PM

I hate to say it, but that sounds so incredibly awful as to be good in some twisted way. . .

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 05 September 2002 - 09:06 PM

Magnificentliy awful. :D

There are these movies lying about. I have a video -- can't find it now, and I can't remember the name! -- where Fonteyn does a cameo as The Grand Ballerina who visits a local studio to give them prizes. It's wonderfully awful, the story of a poor but earnest dance student in London right after the war, who has to take about 5 buses to get to her dance classes. AND her evil rival who has enough ambition for the whole class. There's a fascinating, and witty, classthat shows the difference between Evil Rival and Good Girl Heroine. It's fascinating because a very bad dancer of that day is quite different from a very bad dancer of today. The Evil Rival has oodles of "soul" and no technique -- she primps, she preens, she has feet of jello. Since she doesn't get the leading role in the school show, what choice does she have but to lock the heroine in the basement? I forget how it ends -- happily. I think the heroine's little brother (played by Anthony Newley!) figures it out and rescues her.

There were a lot of little ballet films like this in the '40s and '50s, I think -- but 1982 is late for the stinker pmeja describes.

Quick! Cast Joan Collins in the international ballet repertory of that time.

#4 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 September 2002 - 09:11 PM

Joan Collins in The Mathilde Kchessinka Story? Did they wear shoulderpads in the 1890s?

#5 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 04:16 AM

joan collins as carabosse! with costumes by nolan miller! ;)

found this: i think i'll look for this one!

LITTLE BALLERINA

A girl struggles to become a ballet star battling poverty & a jealous rival. Margot Fonteyn, Anthony Newley, Martita Hunt & Yvonne Marsh.

1947 64 min.

#6 rg

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 04:25 AM

LITTLE BALLERINA is the film alexandra mentioned.

#7 Watermill

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 08:00 AM

...while we're all holding our noses...

What about the dreadfully fascinating Specter of the Rose (1946) with Dame Judith Anderson and Mihael Chekhov?

Ben Hecht wrote & directed the overwrought screenplay about a "mad" male ballet star "Ivan Kirov" (!), played (and danced..um...eccentrically) by Andre Sanine (?) who obsesses over his new partner, "Viola Essen" played by the one-named Haidi.

It has absolutely nothing to do with Spectre, and is choreographed by none other than Tamara Geva!

Ivan's endlessly final solo as he dances "insanely" in a small hotel bedroom has got to be seen to be believed.

If you don't believe me, here's a sample of dialogue:

IVAN: Hug me with your eyes!

VIOLA: I am.

IVAN: Harder!

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 08:17 AM

I see a "Ballet Alert" Film Festival coming on. . .

#9 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 06:35 PM

well there's the 'on the town' film where vera-ellen is miss subways and is pursued by sailor gene kelly, and has scenes of her private ballet lessons in carnegie hall, and her actual job as a kootch dancer at coney island!

#10 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 07:15 PM

Didn't Vivian Leigh play a ballerina in "Waterloo Station?" Not a ballet film, as such, but a dancer as a leading character. (Dirac will know this one, I'm sure. I've only seen this once, on tv, long ago.)

#11 Watermill

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 08:02 PM

I think you must mean "Waterloo Bridge" made in 1940. Miss Leigh (soon to be Mrs Olivier) is a ballet dancer ejected from her company by Ouspeska (the great Russian acting teacher) for coming home late (or something dancers do all the time)
Thinking her fiance is dead in the War (WWI) she...well...needs to make rent...ahem...on the Waterloo Bridge. (Remember, this is post 1934 Censorship Code) So of course she's hit & killed by a truck!
BTW: a favorite with Russian audiences.
Remade as Gaby in 1956 with Leslie Caron (who actually dances in it)

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 08:08 PM

Yep. That's the one, Watermill. And Leigh looks very like Fonteyn in it, I thought. (A four-hanky tearjerker.)

#13 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 02:41 AM

and then there's "Limelight",in which charlie chaplin as a has-been vaudeville clown saves the life of claire bloom, a depressed ballet dancer that he finds starving (if i remember correctly) on the streets, where the actual dancing for claire bloom and her partner is done by melissa hayden and andre eglevsky, and for which i remember reading that chaplin did the choreography! (that would be interesting). but waterloo bridge and limelight certainly wouldn't qualify as stinkers, maybe our festival has to be a two-parter!

#14 Siren

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 10:17 AM

Oh my! Reading all these had me in stiches!

The Joan Collins Nutcracker sounds just wonderfully awful. Is that video available? It sounds hilarious.

#15 Mel Johnson

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 10:30 AM

Maybe we can make some of these audience-participation movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show!


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