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Black Tights (1961)

1-2-3-4 ou Les collants noirs (original title)
Live scenes of Paris and a continuity Narrator link together four dramatic choreographies, all by Roland Petit: Carmen (1949), La croqueuse de diamants (1950), Deuil en 24 heures (1953), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1959).




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Credited cast:
The Widow
The Gold Digger / Carmen
Roland Petit ...
Cyrano / The Suitor / Don José
Who introduces
George Reich ...
Josette Clavier ...
The Woman Bandit
Dirk Sanders ...
Bertie Eckhrat ...
The Bartender
Hans von Manen ...
The Husband / A Bad guy / A Bandit
Henning Kronstam ...
The Bullfighter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
France Arnel ...
A Cigar Maker (as France Arnell)
Fredbjørn Bjørnsson ...
A Bandit
Raoul Celada ...
A Bad Guy
Josiane Consoli ...
Lise Ragueneau


Live scenes of Paris and a continuity Narrator link together four dramatic choreographies, all by Roland Petit: Carmen (1949), La croqueuse de diamants (1950), Deuil en 24 heures (1953), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1959).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's Sheer Magic! See more »


Drama | Musical


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Release Date:

9 May 1961 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Black Tights  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant (2000) See more »


Deuil en 24 heures
Ballet de Roland Petit
Music by Maurice Thiriet
Libretto by Vladimir Pozner
See more »

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User Reviews

Good color, good music, good dance
11 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I bought this movie on VHS "at the dawn on the home video age" and, curiously, never got around to watching it until I watched the 2005 National Film Museum version on TCM this afternoon. To compare, I hauled out my bought copy, Video Arts International's VAI-15, which is also the 126-minute U.S. version released theatrically in 1962. (Neither this title nor any title in this format is any longer in VAI's catalog.) The following comments refer to the version seen today on TV.

All in all, I found the performances, the choreography, the staging, and the technical elements surrounding them quite intriguing and enjoyable. Two of the technical elements, in particular, bear mentioning.

The color photography is luscious, but not what one typically thinks of when the movie is shot in Technicolor. Although the colors themselves are brilliant and distinct, there are no shades of gray in evidence. Grays come out black, detracting from some of the more darkly-lit pieces, and making the overall appearance one of high contrast. Additionally, some of the skin tones tend more toward "white" than toward "flesh-colored," aggravated no doubt by the contrast between dark and light.

Secondly, a feature that I consider a giant plus is that this movie of set ballet pieces was filmed before the arrival of the short attention span of the MTV Generation, when popular music videos corrupted the video style of even live performances, including many found on PBS. Here, although different camera angles are employed to good effect, they don't switch every five seconds making the viewer dizzy and disoriented. In short, one can actually watch and enjoy this performance instead of having one's concentration constantly distracted by helter-skelter random shots of the action.

In summary, this film of four ballets provides a fascinating "Roland Petit retrospective" nearly a half-century later.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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