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White Nights (1985)

 -  Drama  -  6 December 1985 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,510 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 37 user | 11 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: White Nights (1985)

White Nights (1985) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko
...
Raymond Greenwood
...
Colonel Chaiko
...
...
Anne Wyatt
...
Darya Greenwood
...
Wynn Scott
Stefan Gryff ...
Captain Kirigin
...
Chuck Malarek
...
Ambassador Larry Smith
Florence Faure ...
Ballerina (Death)
David Savile ...
Pilot
Ian Liston ...
Co-pilot
Benny Young ...
Flight Engineer
Hilary Drake ...
Stewardess #1
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Storyline

An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to become a dancer for the Bolshoi again, but he wishes to escape, but can he trust the American? Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men. Not soldiers. Not heroes. Just dancers. Willing to risk their lives for freedom-and each other. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sol de medianoche  »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,046,465 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 747 aircraft is actually a 707 with an artificial hump on the top of the forward fuselage, as the studio couldn't afford to lease a 747. See more »

Goofs

The aircraft in the opening sequences has antennas on the wingtips when in the air, but not when on the ground. See also the trivia entry. See more »

Quotes

Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko: It wouldn't be right ...
Galina Ivanova: Right? You knew what was right?
Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko: I was suffocating here! You knew it!
Galina Ivanova: When they told me you had defected to the West, they couldn't believe that you would leave without telling me. I couldn't believe it either.
Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko: I'm sorry.
Galina Ivanova: They took away my passport. For four years I wasn't allowed to travel.And for three years, they would take me to the big house to answer their questions. Every day, the same, stupid questions!
Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko: You answered well. You're an important person, with power. I...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Snake Charmer
Written by John Hiatt
Produced by Phil Ramone
Performed by John Hiatt
Courtesy of Geffin Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fine interesting movie, wonderfully acted (and of course danced)
19 July 2002 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I just saw this on television - having resisted my sister-in-law's entreaties years ago to see it. It's awfully good.

The movie is imaginative - having Gregory Hines in a theater in Siberia, a defector to Russia when disillusioned and unable to find use for his talents as an adult tap dancer in America after the Vietnam War, married to the translator initially assigned him (an astonishing peformance by Isabella Rosellini), and performing Porgy & Bess to audiences including Russian troops - well, it's a character and situation you don't find in movies every day!

I was amazed at the close-knit work of actors who were not then first name movie stars - and at how well-drawn these characters are -

Helen Mirren is superb as Baryshnikov's former lover, partner, and now director of the Kirov Ballet - angry and constantly deluding herself that things are getting more artistically free in Russia -

Baryshnikov is excellent, reliving the pain of defection in his old theater, seeing a tape of himself when at 17 he was care-free and full of illusory ambition, the discovery of the erasure of his name among children in Russia, the anger of his former partner for his abandonment of her and denunciation of his "selfishness" in defecting -

Hines as a man living with an atrocious mistake and trying always to justify itself to himself - in Siberia, he seems like a man on Mars -

an almost unrecognizable Rosellini as a Russian woman in pained love with Hines (just the looks on her face of love and sympathy and pity and helplessness for Hines are so powerful and moving - I'll never forget them)-

the four are so very very fine together. Each TRULY seems the person they're portraying. If one were to see news photographs or a documentary about such characters - they would look this way, sound this way, move and speak and dress this way.

The dancing is very enjoyable to watch - and you really needn't be a fan of dance (I'm not) to marvel at it.

The only downside of the movie is that it takes these four fascinating and pained characters, and stuffs them into a somewhat formulaic action plot. I also found the music too heavy throughout - let there be silences as they contemplate their messy situations.

This is very well worth seeing.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The first 8 minutes... Lukerdog
What is the piano song played in the video of Nick as a young dancer? MMcDonaldFan
DVD White Nights fessem
best ballet movie ever shandae77
Did Baryshnikov go to Russia for the filming? clpeek
A great melody when Mikhail Baryshnikov dances for the last time lremound
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