Up 3,513 this week

Étoile (1989)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 219 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

An American ballerina arrives in Hungary to enroll in a ballet school and it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem.



(story), (story), 3 more credits »
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 247 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
a list of 33 titles
created 19 Feb 2012
a list of 29 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
a list of 37 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Étoile" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Étoile (1989)

Étoile (1989) on IMDb 5.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Étoile.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A light-hearted story of two working-class brothers courting three wealthy and beautiful sisters in a small Illinois town.

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix
Pollock (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film about the life and career of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.

Director: Ed Harris
Stars: Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden, Tom Bower
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Set in the world of mega-churches in which a former Deadhead-turned-born again-Christian finds himself on the run from fundamentalist members of his mega-church who will do anything to protect their larger-than-life pastor.

Director: George Ratliff
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei
Virginia (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A sheriff sees his state senate bid slide out onto the ice when his daughter begins to date the son of a charming but psychologically disturbed woman with whom the sheriff has engaged in a two-decade-long affair.

Director: Dustin Lance Black
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Harrison Gilbertson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A septuagenarian couple are attracted to each other in a retirement home but find the institution and their fellow patients frown on their relationship.

Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Dado Ruspoli, Enzo Cannavale
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Janusz Zaorski
Stars: Dorota Chotecka, Katarzyna Figura, Janusz Gajos
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A feminist cult survives by robbing and killing passersby, at their remote desert ranch. The North Star Dhruva cult leader Magdalena refuses to work for the Yankee dollar. Consequently she ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Schroeter
Stars: Magdalena Montezuma, Christine Kaufmann, Ila von Hasperg
Aranycsapat (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Director: András Surányi
Stars: Gusztáv Sebes, Zoltan Czibor, Gyula Grosics
Medium (1985)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Story of four people in Sopot in 1933, mysteriously brought together to an old villa to reenact a murder ritual that took place 36 years earlier.

Director: Jacek Koprowicz
Stars: Wladyslaw Kowalski, Michal Bajor, Jerzy Zelnik
Aloft (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Aloft tells of a struggling mother who encounters the son she abandoned 20 years earlier.

Director: Claudia Llosa
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Mélanie Laurent, Cillian Murphy
The $treet (2000–2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Set in the world of corporate stock trading, "The $treet" follows the lives of a group of employees working in a small New York City Wall Street trading company whom include expert broker ... See full summary »

Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Nina Garbiras, Christian Campbell


Cast overview:
Claire Hamilton / Natalie Horvath
Gary McCleery ...
Jason Forrest (as Gary Mc Cleery)
Laurent Terzieff ...
Marius Balakin
Olimpia Carlisi ...
Mario Marozzi
Donald Hodson ...
(as Donal Hodson)
Zio Joshua


An American ballerina arrives in Hungary to enroll in a ballet school and it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

17 March 1989 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Ballet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Odd, surreal, and almost terminally slow paced, this hard to find film may not be worth finding except for die hard Connelly fans.
2 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A subtle, slow-paced Italian horror film --where the horror is mostly implied rather than overt-- about a ballerina who flies to Italy to try out for an exclusive ballet school and instead becomes lost in a surreal world where time stands still for a hundred year old ballet company, it's long closed theater, and it's diabolical director.


Jason (Gary McCleery), who is working for his cantankerous uncle Joshua (Charles Durning), sees the hauntingly beautiful Claire (Jennifer Connelly) as she climbs the stairs to her hotel room and drops a single ballet slipper behind her. In a Cinderella moment Jason hands her the slipper, introduces himself, and from that moment on he becomes obsessed with her to an almost unhealthy degree. Jason is so distracted by her, that he abandons his uncle in the middle of an important auction of antique clocks when he sees Claire sight-seeing in the auction hall (the clock theme is obviously a reference to the idea that time has stood still, or has become, at the very least, fluid here in this town, an idea further underscored by a scene where Jason wakes up late for work because the array of antique clocks in his hotel room all have the wrong time). In a scene which almost looks as if it was plucked (or "borrowed") from the film "Flashdance," Claire arrives for her ballet audition, looks at all the other girls nervously, peeks through the audition room door and sees how difficult its going to be, then becomes even more nervous when she hears the rejected ballerina's tearful account of how poorly she was treated. Claire freezes when they call her name and does not respond. She then gathers her things and leaves quickly. Unfortunately, in her panic and haste, she becomes lost in the theater and ends up standing in the gloom of the main stage where she puts on an impromptu performance (done by a double, not Connelly) which is witnessed by the tormented and haggard looking Marius Balkan (Laurent Terzieff). He says the name "Natalie" and Claire freezes. When he drops his cane she runs away. And so is set in motion a new and strange turn of events, where Claire becomes haunted by a past that is not her own (or is it?). When wandering the city with Jason she finds an old mansion that seems familiar. She knows exactly where the spare key is hidden and enters the house where she discovers numerous effigies of swans and paintings all of which reference "Swan Lake," the ballet which she has told Jason is her absolute favorite. The next time Jason sees her in the park by the mansion, she is sitting alone in an old fashioned dress, watching the swans swim on the pond. She no longer responds to the name Claire. And in a moment of unintentional humor, the otherwise brilliant composer Jurgen Knieper makes the most unfortunate choice to use a tremolo string motif that sounds exactly like the "Twighlight Zone" theme just as Claire reveals that her name is not Claire, but "Natalie."

From this point on the story focuses on Jason's struggle to bring Claire back to reality, and his eventual discovery that she's not, as he first thinks, confused or insane, but rather there are powerful and dark supernatural forces in play. He discovers Natalie was a dancer who died long ago after she fled a performance of "Swan Lake" and the ballet's director, Marius, has been alive for at least a hundred years. Jason must now try to save Claire from the sinister ballet.

There are many scenes in this film that could have been cut to make the movie flow better, and there are many edits within scenes which could have been made to make the flow tighter. And there is one bizarre and surreal moment during the climax of the film, which I will not reveal, which will either leave the viewer in riotous laughter from the unintentional humor of the situation, or will leave the viewer confused and ripped out of any sense of any kind of reality, or subtle sur-reality, that the film had maintained to that point.

Overall the film is pretty much a failure. It's too slow, too vague, and too unfocused in its mission. Other Italian horror directors suffer this same problem (i.e. Argento and Bava) but those directors make up for the lack of focus and clear direction by drenching their films in artistic style. "Etoile" lacks this style, and so everything rests on the shoulders of the story, and the actors. Unfortunately the story is flawed and the actors are all sorely lacking in strong direction from the director. Gary McCleery as Jason is too over the top in his obsession with Claire and comes off a little bit stalker-ish at moments. Connelly is trying to play her character as dreamy and almost childlike, but with no apparent solid direction from Del Monte she ends up looking lost in her part. Horror fans, and fans of Italian horror will probably be more likely to at least partially enjoy the experience of viewing this film, but the casual film viewer will most likely be bored to tears. Fans of Jennifer Connelly might enjoy it purely because she looks so ethereally beautiful throughout the film (her features caught here in-between her earlier "lolita" looks and her later refined beauty). And good luck finding a copy. Thus far it has only been released in Japan on VHS.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Whole Film on YouTube RavenwoodLamenti
Discuss Étoile (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: