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Nutcracker (1982) with - Joan Collins!

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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.

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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 Mme. Hermine describes.

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

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...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!

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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)

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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!

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One of my favourite movie treats is the part of Invitation to the Dance where Claude Bessy steals and eats the guy's sandwich while doing pirouettes...and she doesn't forget the pickle.

It's in the first section called Ring-around-the-rosy.....

I simply must see that Joan Collins one--is it really called Nutcracker? It sounds like something Rumer Godden would have written....

No, really I think the best casting for Joan Collins would be Tamara Toumanova.....but who would we get for Mama?

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I did a search for the Joan Collins Nutcracker and came up with two titles, which seem to be two different movies?:


Nutcracker Sweets (the sequel, perhaps?)

The scary thing here is that this is real. What an absolute hoot! This is just too good to be believed. I don't think Blockbuster carries it and the video lists for $70, I think. Too much for me, but boy would be this make for decliciously guilty viewing! Love the Rocky Horror suggestion.

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found this: (let me know if i needed to edit etc. alexandra


1947, 101 minutes, Technicolor.

Producer, Joe Pasternak; Director, Henry Koster; Screenplay, Myles Connolly and Paul Morand; Cinematography, Robert Surtees; Music Direction, Herbert Stothart; Choreography, David Lichine.


Meg Merlin, Margaret O'Brien; Mlle. Ariane Bouchet, Cyd Charisse; La Darina, Karin Booth; Mr. Paneros, Danny Thomas; Olga, Esther Dale; mr. Ronsell, Thurston Hall; Murphy, Harry Hayden; Josie, Mary Eleanor Donahue; Miss Merlin, Ruth Brady; mme. Borodin, Ann Codee; Jacques Lacoste, Gregory Gaye; Fred Carleton, Charles Bradstreet; Phyllis, Connie Cornell.


Holiday for Strings by David Rose; I Went Merrily On My Way by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal; excerpts from The Bartered Bride by Smetana; Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky; Faust by Gounod; Liebesfreud by Kreisler and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2.


"The story of a poor orphan (O'Brien) and how her hero-worshipping devotion to a famous ballerina (Cyd Charisse) results in a tragic accident when, mistakenly believing newcomer Karin Booth to be a threat to Charisse's supremacy in the company, she inadvertently pulls the wrong switch during a performance, causing Miss Booth to fall through a trap door and injure her spine. . ."

- Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical


". . .a glossy but cloying remake of Jean Benoit-Levy's touching French film Ballerina (1938). . .it pulled all the wrong switches where the emotions were concerned, substituting bathos for pathos."

- Clive Hirsachhorn, The Hollywood Musical

"The same old story with pathos, humor and ballet substituted for pathos, humor and chorus girls."


"The delicacies of the French original, La Morte du Cygne, give way to standard Hollywood hokum and produce an accomplished but totally uninteresting film."

- Halliwell's Film Guide

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but!!!!!! i think i have a winner!!!!!!

i remember seeing this one, and had almost forgotten it: it's called: (drum roll)

Howling III - The Marsupials

and the synopsis says:


the story centers around the existance of and subsequent hunt for a tribe of marsupial werewolves. Descended from the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, the tribe of marsupials have remained a secret until one of their own escapes to America and becomes a popular B Movie actress. Before long, other members of the tribe are sent to bring her back, attention is called to the tribe when she becomes famous and eventally, the marsupial tribe is being hunted through the outback by the military while a small band of humans race to protect them. Toss into the mix, werewolf nuns, a Russian werewolf ballerina, a 'Hitchcockian' B movie director and some other truly odd moments and you have a werewolf film unlike any other!

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siren if you'd really like to see it the joan collins film i can arrange to get a copy to you, tho it won't be the best copy. it is every bit as bad as you can imagine. perhaps i can make one and there can be a round robin passing it from one BA member to another? i actually kind of have it by accident in that it was on a tape with something else someone gave me, and not even labeled!

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they just keep comin' folks. how about this:


L'AMANTE DEL VAMPIRO (1961/Consorzio Italiano Film/UA.) 86mins. BW. Italy.


Credits: Dir: Renato Polselli; Prod: Bruna Bolognesi; Sc: Renato Polselli, Ernesto Castaldi & Giuseppe Pellegrini; Ph: Angelo Balstrocchi; Art: Angelo Baistrocchi; Sfx: Leopoldo Rosi & Raffaele del Monte; Mus: Aldo Piga.

Cast: Walter Brandi, Maria-Luisa Rolando, Helene Remi, Iscaro Ravaioli, Tina Gloriani, John Turner.

"Blood-lusting fiend who preys on girls! Vampire-queen who feeds on the lifeblood of men!"

Two ballerinas, Luisa, (Remi), and Francesca, (Gloriani), seek refuge from a storm in a castle owned by a female vampire, (Rolando), and her leathery faced servant, (Brandi).

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