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A circus performer becomes a ballerina and then begins her life of a career versus marriage and a home-life. She marries her first husband, her mentor and instructor, primarily out of gratitude. After his death, she marries an American thinking that can be her escape from the world of ballet. But she leaves him to return the dancing. She has a child but does not tell her husband. When her daughter is two-years-old, the husband finds out and takes the child to America. The ballerina continues to dance until her best dancing days have gone by. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Initially very interesting...and then the film kinda loses its way...just like the main character.
In the first part of this film, ballet impresario Stanislaus Rosing (Conrad Veidt) discovers a circus performer, Lina Varsavina (Loretta Young). She has great talent and tells her she COULD one day be a great dancer. On impulse, she leaves the circus and begs Stanislaus to train her. He agrees and she undergoes two grueling years of work before she is ready to perform in public. She is a sensation and Lina is thrilled when an old boyfriend comes to see her and he asks her to marry him. At the same time, her coach, Stanislaus, asks her to marry him and out of loyalty, she marries the coach...and is quite happy and incredibly successful on the stage. However, at the height of her career, he dies. This portion of the film is really, really well made and exciting.
What follows is Lina's soap opera-like life. Though she is still a brilliant dancer, she is lonely and wants the old boyfriend...but thinks he's married to another. So, out of loneliness, she marries David (Dean Jagger) who is a controlling jerk. Then, out of the blue, the old boyfriend returns...and Lina is caught cohabitating by David...who is now married to him. He is controlled but insistent that their child live with him...and in the 19th century, she was powerless. Yes, she finally has her love...but no child. There's plenty after this...including lots more soapy elements as well as an attempt at a return to the stage. But I don't want to spoil the film by saying more. Suffice to say that the soapy elements AND Lina's incredibly stupid behavior make this final part of the film a major disappointment.
Loretta Young is very good and she does a nice job dancing (when they don't use a double) and it's a nice performance...especially since she DID have to do a reasonable amount of dancing. But the plot bored me after a while. Sorry...this one just didn't do it for me. Average at best despite being a very good looking film.
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