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White Nights 1985 PG-13 CC

A defector (Mikhail Baryshnikov) and an expatriate American dancer (Gregory Hines) plan to escape from Russia.

Starring:
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines
Runtime:
2 hours, 16 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Taylor Hackford
Starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines
Supporting actors Jerzy Skolimowski, Helen Mirren, Geraldine Page, Isabella Rossellini, John Glover, Stefan Gryff, William Hootkins, Shane Rimmer, Florence Faure, David Savile, Ian Liston, Benny Young, Hilary Drake, Megumi Shimanuki, Daniel Benzali, Maria Werlander, Galina Pomerantzeva, Sergei Rousakov
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Frankly, I don't see why everybody is so up in arms about the quality of this movie. I, for one, don't need to preface my review with a disclaimer that only its dance sequences can be enjoyed. I happen to think that it's a pretty excellent cinematographic work overall. Let me elaborate.
The camera work here is among the most original and clever out there. It's incredibly dynamic and energetic, offering unusual perspectives, delivering great close-ups, and skillfully capturing the sweeping wide spaces. An unusually large amount of footage is devoted to the city landscapes of St. Petersburg - a rarity in American flicks on Russian themes. It's all the more jarring, however, that despite attempts to ensure authenticity of the setting, at least the first couple of car rides seem to have been done in a stationary vehicle and plastered rather crudely against the city background. But this is a forgivable and almost charming flaw, considering the film's limited budget and the release year of 1985.
The film is a paradox of sorts, showcasing interesting performances from Rossellini and Hines, two actors who have since been totally under-appreciated. There's good chemistry between the impressionable and high-strung duet of Darya and Raymond. Jerzy Skolimovski (Colonel Chaiko) is the classical cunning villain with a Slavic flare. Baryshnikov himself seems a bit rigid and somewhat formulaic as Nikolay Rodchenko. That is when he's not dancing, of course. For when he dances, he unleashes all imaginable and unimaginable potential.
Obviously, the story line is sketched out in broad, exaggerated strokes. But I bet the filmmakers actually expected the overall theatricality to be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, the subject matter discussed wasn't keen on subtleties.
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By A Customer on June 16, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Baryshnikov does eleven pirouettes straight. What more can you ask for? Anyway, the movie was very good. It was a dark, communist Soviet Union film, with a lot of tension. But most importantly, Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov were fantastic. It is superhuman what they can do.
2 Comments 46 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Don't tell me , that this is for dancing funs only ! I use to be professional break dancer , enjoied the exellent " dance " parts in the film ... but I watched it for the story , not the intertainment !
Michail Barishnikov's character is a " deserter " from Russia . He is on the flight to Europe and after big mechanical problems during the flight , the plane had to land in USSR . He is in panic ... and later we understand , why ! KGB wanted to make example out of him , so others will not follow ...
Put on top of it exellent scenaries of Leningrad , 3rd most beatifull city in Europe ... I was lucky to be born there , and I lived there too , for most of my life .
And it is not only about the plot in this movie - to set yourself free ... from russian KGB , from the past... If you don't speak Russian , you don't know the meaning of the song by Vladimir Visotskiy ... Let me go my horses ... Let me go ... set me free ..! The song , which became a grave monument for one of the greatest ,honest russian singers and actors ... he never surrended . But he still alive in his work... in our harts .
4 Comments 80 of 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Taylor Hackford took the premise of juxtaposing two premiere dancers and their two differing styles and made a taut little melodrama that explores the theme of freedom of expression in art, relationships and politics. Is ballet more free than tap? Does Hines have an 'open' marriage with Isabella Rosselini in the film? And what about those Soviets, and the funders for dance companies in the west, controlling who does what? But to return to reality, freedom could also apply to the wonderfully fluid camera used to record the dance sequences.

Enjoy the view of Roland Petit's "Le Jeune Homme et La Morte" and Baryshnikov's famous "pas de deux with a chair" (finally captured on film)as an almost participant, and the two self-choreographed studio sequences of Baryshnikov and Hines with a camera that moves as quickly over, below, and above the dancers as the dancers themselves. Having seen Baryshnikov live several times (once with the Kirov, then ABT, and from backstage wings once or twice), I had no problem guessing the outcome of that ruble/pirouette bet. So glory in the dance sequences and the views of two masters at work, and an enterprising and creative director with a political heart. (Who later did a similar romantic triangle in politicized setting with "Proof of Life".)

RE ACTING: Since Baryshnikov was playing elements of his past, it was not too big a stretch. (He scared his young daughter, Alexandra, when she viewed the airplane crash scene.) But the sequence where he visited the dance school and they had no idea who he was because the Soviets tried to make sure newer generations forgot, was a real worry at the time. Luckily, Baryshnikov's artistry lives on in several films/tapes so younger generations can see what the legend is all about.
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the beauty,grace, and syncronozation of these two men dancing from such different backgrounds and styles was magnificent. The love, trust, and faith under such difficult situations was indescribable. The story with its action and psychological background kept me riveted to the screen (5 OR SIX TIMES OR MORE!) When do I order my dvd?!!!
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