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Nijinsky [Blu-ray] (1980)

Alan Bates , George De La Pena , Herbert Ross  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Jeremy Irons
  • Directors: Herbert Ross
  • Writers: Hugh Wheeler, Romola Nijinsky, Vaslav Nijinsky
  • Producers: Harry Saltzman
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006H3KQR6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Nijinsky is a fascinating film that chronicles the lives, the loves, and the madness of ballet's legendary and mercurial star Vaslav Nijinsky (George De La Pena). Onstage, Nijinsky, the most celebrated dancer of the early 20th century, was in flawless control. Offstage, he was in turmoil, torn between the beautiful ballerina he married and the domineering mentor he loved. Alan Bates plays Sergei Diaghilev, Nijinsky's mentor and lover who's the impresario and founder of Ballets Russes. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky (Leslie Browne) determinedly attempts to draw the mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev. Jeremy Irons made his film debut as a choreographer for the ballet company. Directed by Herbert Ross (The Turning Point).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth A Viewing January 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Hard to believe that "Nijinsky" is now a twenty-two-year-old film; its look and performances are so fresh that it could be the latest from Ivory-Merchant.
The film focuses on the period 1912-1913, when Vaslav Nijinsky was both at his height as a choreographer, and at his lowest point personally. He was under the guidance and domination of impresario Sergei Diaghilev in his work and his love life, and he was also being pursued by ballet groupie Romola de Pulzsky, who eventually met and indeed married him.
The film is based on actual events, but viewers should be aware that the script takes minor liberties with historical time frames, character motivations, and events to advance its story. The production is mounted most handsomely, with the London Festival Ballet helping to recreate Nijinsky's most famous works. The ballet sequences are beautifully filmed, but many suffer from being cut very short. However, "L'Apres-midi d'un Faune" is presented at decent length, and there is an amazing, if too-brief, re-creation of the lost Nijinsky ballet "Jeux", done entirely from old photos and Valentine Gross's drawings of the original production.
The major performances are beautifully detailled; George de la Pena's Nijinsky is as winning and as troubled as we believe the actual man to have been. Alan Bates' Sergei Diaghilev is charming, ruthless, and ultimately defeated. Italian ballerina Carla Fracci plays Nijinsky's dancing partner Tamara Karsavina as tender, elegant, and nobody's fool- which is, according to Fracci enthusiasts, type-casting at its best.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I'm not going to write too much about this exceptional film- The reviewer before me has already done a superb job. I will say this: I saw Nijinsky upon its first release in 1980, and I was impressed enough to return to the theatre again, to see if my original impressions were accurate. I was both enchanted and more than pleased by the entire production. I've read the definitive 1970 biography Nijinsky by Richard Buckle (in fact I still own it), and this film is as close as you will ever get to seeing a portrait of his time. Not only the man, but his peers, and events that shaped and inspired his turbulent vision are portrayed with great care and thought. The colors of the film are vibrant and rich, and true to the art of Leon Bakst, principal designer to the ballet troupe. I felt like I was transported to this marvellous age, when electricity was still a wonder, great luxury liners rode the waves, and the airplane was discovering the sky while the automobile and railroads crossed the land. It was the age of Empires, yet the world still held unexplored places waiting to be mapped. The Arts really could present The Shock Of The New, while the working classes discovered their strength in strikes and unions and the wealthy lived in opulence. For me, this film worked on every level. A mirror in time, and the breakdown of an artist's mind. A distant era, a beautiful film, a sad ending... Yet we are left knowing that Nijinsky, with all his visions of light and shadow, was never left alone, never forgotten. This broken man was cared for, and still loved. We should all be so fortunate. If I have any regret about this film, it is that it has yet to be released on dvd. I sincerely hope that oversight will one day be corrected.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD! DVD!! DVD!!! August 22, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Having fallen in love with THE RED SHOES and learning that the inspiration for the film was the Diaghilev-Nijinski story, I made it a point to get ahold of NIJINSKI. I wasn't really expecting much, since I had never heard of the film before, and so I was honestly surprised to find that it was such a good film. It's as good a film biography as the best of them, in my opinion, blessed with wonderful performances, plus it has a FASCINATING story, which takes it up a notch from there. (In fact, it had made me want to do some reading on the people in the film.) But for now, I'm hoping to encourage the designated gatekeepers to put NIJINSKY on DVD. So, 5 stars (although I would actually rate it at 4-1/2 with 5 for THE RED SHOES). NIJINSKY on DVD with a good historical comentary would be a jewel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Please! August 23, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Most excellent film though we need it in a DVD. Please do it soon!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Dance April 28, 2012
Format:DVD
Vaslav Nijinsky was a genius of the ballet stage who shone brilliantly and briefly. After his mental breakdown in 1917, when the First World War and the Russian Revolution burst onto the world scene, he spent the final 35 years of his life in institutions. As the star danseur/choreographer of the Ballets Russes with his mentor/lover Sergei Diaghilev, he was a glimmering, androgynous figure in "Specter of the Rose" and "Scheherezade." He broke the musical rules in Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring and Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

In this 1980 biopic, George De La Pena stars as Nijinsky (there was going to be a biopic with Rudolf Nureyev in the lead,but it was scrapped). As a professional dancer, De La Pena is luminous. He is not pretending to be a dancer;he is the dancer. Alan Bates (Women in Love,Hamlet (1990)) is wonderful as Diaghilev, who struggles with his art, his business, and being Nijinsky's older lover. He comes across as both predatory and sympathetic, a deeply troubled genius. Jeremy Irons makes his cinematic debut as Michel Fokine. Leslie Brown stars as Romola, who comes across as a stalker. It is true she pursued Nijinsky, and when Nijinsky makes love to her to the strains of Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Ballets by Uwe Scholz, his heterosexuality is seen as a symptom of his impending breakdown rather than healing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth your money
This film is a very poor attempt to document "the lives and loves" of Nijinsky. The ballet episodes are almost laughable compared to the actual ballets. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Steinmuller
3.0 out of 5 stars nijinsky
The big probem with the film is the fact that it was so heavily re-edited after the initial screenings, that huge chunks of the ballet scenes were trimmed out. Read more
Published 1 month ago by addison de witt
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie about a little known Genius
If you do a little research before seeing the movie, it will be a wonderful treasure. The characters actually look like the real personalities and appear to have mastered their... Read more
Published 7 months ago by The Purple Bee
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking yet compelling
This true story is heartbreaking, yet it holds your attention from the first frames. Some have given patronizing reviews to the young man who played Nijinsky, but I think that was... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Robert Avant
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
The dance was wonderful to watch, the story was choppy. The lead actor did a great job. Wish the story went more into his earlier life.
Published 9 months ago by Lisa R. Lake
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent movie
all real ballett lovers should not miss is it, the only document which describes the dancer and choreograf really good
Published 14 months ago by Gabi
4.0 out of 5 stars For dance fans only
I saw this movie when it was released many years ago, own it on VHS, and bought the DVD. It is for great fans of dance who want as complete a collection of dance films as... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Irritated with Sony
5.0 out of 5 stars super
as a dancer in the 1950/60's this held magic for me. The film is lyrical and the story is sad.
Published 14 months ago by shirley limbert
5.0 out of 5 stars NIJINSKY
I was always intrigued with his choreography and some years ago I saw a stage play which I found a little on the confusing side so I decided to purchase this DVD to re- acquaint... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. Sophie S. Bastas
5.0 out of 5 stars MovieMars delivers once again!
When I tried to play the copy I bought from dvdbear2, I got a message that said "disc is dirty"; mind you, this was, supposedly, a new copy. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jose
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