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Black Tights (1960)

Cyd Charisse , Moira Shearer , Terence Young  |  NR |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cyd Charisse, Moira Shearer, Zizi Jeanmaire, Roland Petit, Maurice Chevalier
  • Directors: Terence Young
  • Writers: Roland Petit
  • Producers: Joe Kaufmann, Simon Schiffrin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2000
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305820767
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Tights" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A wondrous celebration of dance, Terence Young's Black Tights is a collection of four lavish musicals staged by Roland Petit's Ballet de Paris and filmed in vibrant Technicolor. With introductions by Maurice Chevalier (Gigi), Black Tights is flavored by the sly wit and artistic innovation of the European musical stage, enlivened by the talents of the legendary Cyd Charisse (Singing in the Rain) and Moira Shearer (The Red Shoes).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really what dreams are made of! July 18, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
"Black Tights" belongs to an exciting part of my childhood which helped create a great love for ballet, opera and film art. So naturally, a DVD presentation of this rare - and at least for me - almost mythical film was something to look forward to! But unfortunately, this KINO presentation leaves much to be desired. I guess that this film is now a public domain title, which means that a negative or at least a perfect print might not be available anywhere. But the print used for DVD-transfer by KINO is often badly worn, especially at the reel change points appearing about every tenth minute - proof that a 70mm print was the base for the transfer. Considering this, the sound quality is surprisingly bad and the aspect ratio is not correct. (It should measure 2,2:1 if properly made.)Thankfully, the colors have not faded too badly (some reels display quite a gorgeous palette), but contrasts are weak, and scratches and dirt sometimes overwhelm the image to a point where you almost feel like throwing the disc in the nearest garbage can! But...it's still a rare and nostalgic film with lots of camp value and some very charismatic dancing stars, so it stays in the collection, if reluctantly. It will be interesting to see what the upcoming version from VCI will look like. I have no high hopes this time though! There surely must exist a better kept print somewhere in the world! Shame on KINO! They should have included a warning sticker on the package: For die-hard fans and fools only!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected more from Kino Video June 25, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I was really looking forward to the DVD version of this film. Too bad Kino didn't take the time to clean the picture and fix the audio. I guess I shouldn't complain. Ballet is so rare on DVD, I will grab any I can find. But a film with Cyd Charisse, Moira Shearer, Zizi Jeanmarie and Roland Petit deserves a better presentation.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gallic charm to spare in this balletomane's dream! June 19, 2005
Format:DVD
BLACK TIGHTS is a delightful film which showcases 4 ballets choreographed by Roland Petit and featuring his well-known ballet troupe. His wife Zizi Jeanmaire is the central figure in both "La Croqueuse de Diamants" and "Carmen". Moira Shearer stars in "Cyrano de Bergerac" and Cyd Charisse cavorts in "Deuil en 24 Heures". Maurice Chevalier appears to introduce each segment.

For fans of Zizi Jeanmaire, the movie is a must just for "Carmen" alone. This was the ballet created especially for her by Roland Petit. It launched her international career and she danced the role from London to Broadway. This film perfectly recreates the original production, highlighted by her beguiling footwork in "Seguidille". Petit recreates the role of Don Jose. "La Croqueuse de Diamants" is the story of a young woman who lives in a den of thieves and loves to eat diamonds (as Chevalier says, "charming, but expensive"). Jeanmaire's special charms radiate off the screen.

In "Cyrano de Bergerac", Moira Shearer of THE RED SHOES fame plays Roxanne with Roland Petit in the title role. The story of unrequited love plays out it's tragic course and Shearer emotes beautifully as the conflicted Roxanne. Petit gives arguably one of his greatest performances as Cyrano.

"Deuil en 24 Heures" features Cyd Charisse as a young coquette who flirts with younger men, enraging her more-mature husband who gets killed in a duel. The young woman then decides to kick up her heels at Maxim's.

Each of the 30-minute segments is a complete joy. You have no less than 3 of the most beautiful ballet dancers to appear onscreen, coupled with Roland Petit's innovative and economic choreography. A film that balletomanes won't be able to resist!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boy are you guys right about this one! March 1, 2009
By Stanley
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I read all the reviews about what a horrible transfer to dvd this movie was and I more than agree - infact I've got a couple of my own comments to make. Not only is the image fuzzy but there is something wrong with the actual motion picture aspect that the transfer completely messed up. The picture does not flow at the required pace to depict real motion. Its as if they removed every other frame from the original film causing the motion to constantly jump rather than flow as it should do. Now you can defend this all you want by saying it is the last existing copy of a nearly lost work of art. But to take something as graceful as ballet and have the motion completely screwed up is like the audio equivalent of having Jerry Lewis provide Elvis Presley's voice in Jailhouse Rock (Ok I admit that's a strange comparison). I bought the Reel Classic Film version and I know of two other distributers who released this film and I'm wondering if the other versions are just as motion deprived? I saw a VHS version once and don't recall it having any motion problems. I really think the dvd release does not just suffer from bad original material but instead from a low budgit release. Also, I question the identity of some of the people who sanction these flaws and wonder if they are some how involved with their production.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dancers who should not be forgotten February 25, 2007
By H. Rink
Format:DVD
I am a lifelong fan of Cyd Charisse and consider her the very best female dancer hollywood has ever produced - she never disappoints and her feature is the best of the DVD. Moira Shearer, whom I also like but know less of, is also wonderful in her way, vulnerable and graceful. I found Roland Petit's Cyrano (ballet, not his performance) a bit convoluted - a lot of material to get into a feauterette. Zizi Jeanmarie is the epitome of the French dancer and the ballet itself the epitome of what we foreigners think Paris was back in the early 20th centura.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very happy with my purchase
Published 22 days ago by Robyn D. Rich
1.0 out of 5 stars black tights
The problem is that the aspect ration of the DVD is wrong. This film was made in Technirama 70mm, so the aspect ratio should be roughly 2.35.1. Read more
Published 2 months ago by addison de witt
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Cyrano!
The passion and imagination of the choreography and music in this stunning performance (Cyrano de Bergerac) is life-changing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dat's the story
1.0 out of 5 stars Too Old and Too French
I had thought this would be a whole lot different than it is but for a foreign period piece, this was really not worth the effort.
Published 5 months ago by Gary Shumaker
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Meets the Gold Standard
As some said, as a rabid lover of dance, this was my first pick to watch after signing up for Amazon Prime. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Patricia J. Weiss
1.0 out of 5 stars Picture quality very bad
The dancing was great but I couldn't finish watching the movie because the picture quality was so bad. Read more
Published 13 months ago by AynRandLives
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Tights
I wanted the movie because Cyd Charisse starred. Didn't much like the movie, but the service was excellent and fast.
Published 16 months ago by Marcia D. Kellotat
3.0 out of 5 stars A filmed record that may not do justice to Roland Petit, but there's...
Are Roland Petit's productions mounted much today in Paris? He was a major force in French ballet for several decades. He produced, danced and choreographed. Read more
Published on April 8, 2012 by C. O. DeRiemer
1.0 out of 5 stars Black Tights
Titles of ballets on this DVD looked very promising. Also, I wanted to see the art of Zizi which I never saw.
However, the record is not interesting and even boring. Read more
Published on March 13, 2011 by Bolshoi T
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Tights
I love this film from my late teens as my family were involved in ballet and classical music - I used to sneak out of school on sports day to go to the matinee ballet presentations... Read more
Published on January 28, 2011 by Fred
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