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The Nutcracker
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The Nutcracker (1977/I) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Yanna Kroyt Brandt (narration)
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Release Date:
16 December 1977 (USA) See more »
This Friday, [December 16, 1977] join Mikhail Baryshnikov in the realm of toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes, and sheer magical entertainment. (poster for original telecast)
The television adaptation of the Baryshnikov production. | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more »
User Reviews:
The best-danced production widely available See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Mikhail Baryshnikov ... Nutcracker / Prince
Gelsey Kirkland ... Clara
Alexander Minz ... Drosselmeyer
Gayle Young ... Mr. Stahlbaum
Sallie Wilson ... Mrs. Stahlbaum
Warren Conover ... Fritz - Clara's Brother / Shepherd Dancer
Rebecca Wright ... Doll
George De La Pena ... The Moor / Russian Dance
Marcos Paredes ... The Mouse King / Drunken Christmas Party Guest
Cynthia Harvey ... Snowflake Soloist
Jolinda Menendez ... Snowflake Soloist / Spanish Dance
Rodney Gustafson ... Court Buffoon
Charles Maple ... Court Buffoon
Eric Nesbitt ... Court Buffoon
Gregory Osborne ... Court Buffoon / Harlequin
Clark Tippet ... Spanish Dance
Hilda Morales ... Chinese Dance
Áurea Hammerli ... Shepherd Dance
Kirk Peterson ... Chinese Dance
Roman L. Jasinski ... Russian Dance (as Roman Jasinski)
Nanette Glushak ... Waltz Soloist
Marie Johansson ... Waltz Soloist
Victor Barbee ... Waltz Soloist
Richard Schafer ... Waltz Soloist
Norman Rose ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christine Spizzo Serrano ... Corps de ballet member (uncredited)
Raymond Serrano ... Corps de ballet member (uncredited)

Directed by
Tony Charmoli 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Yanna Kroyt Brandt  narration

Produced by
Lois Bianchi .... associate producer
Herman Krawitz .... executive producer
Yanna Kroyt Brandt .... producer
Cinematography by
Larry Boelens (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Max K. Curtis  (as Max Curtis)
Gary Princz 
Production Design by
Boris Aronson 
Costume Design by
Frank L. Thompson  (as Frank Thompson)
Makeup Department
Patrick Moreton .... Miss Kirkland's hair designed by (as Patrick D. Moreton)
Production Management
Barrie Diehl .... production manager
Art Department
Irving Milton Duke .... assistant to Mr. Aronson
Lisa Jalowetz .... assistant to Mr. Aronson
E.J. Taylor .... puppets
Camera and Electrical Department
Jennifer Tipton .... lighting designer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert Boehm .... wardrobe
May Ishimoto .... wardrobe
Barbara Matera .... costumes executed by
David Murin .... assistant: to Mr. Thompson
Editorial Department
Max Curtis .... editor: video tape
Gary Princz .... editor: video tape
Music Department
Boys of Desborough School .... chorus
Roger Durston .... chorus master: Boys of Desborough School
National Philharmonic Orchestra .... orchestra (as The National Philharmonic)
Andrew Raeburn .... music producer
Steven Rosenthal .... pianist
Kenneth Schermerhorn .... conductor
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky .... music by (as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
John Kurlander .... music recording engineer (uncredited)
John Kurlander .... score mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Mikhail Baryshnikov .... choreographer
Mikhail Baryshnikov .... production: ballet
Dick Beard .... assistant: Mr. Charmoli (as Richard Beard)
Bettina Brooks .... production assistant
Lucia Chase .... director: The American Ballet Theatre
David Krawitz .... assistant to producer
Remi Saunder .... assistant to producer
Jurgen Schneider .... assistant: Mr. Baryshnikov
Oliver Smith .... director: The American Ballet Theatre
John R.J. Toland .... assistant to producer
Vasili I. Vaynonen .... choreographer: "Snowflake Waltz" (as Vasily Vainonen)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

78 min
Sound Mix:
Mono (original telecast) | Stereo (recent telecasts)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Some of Mikhail Baryshnikov's choreography for this production of "The Nutcracker" (not just the choreography for the "Snowflake Waltz") is heavily based on Vasili I. Vaynonen's choreography for a famous 1934 Russian production of the ballet. Baryshnikov directly uses virtually all of Vaynonen's choreography for the "Snowflake Waltz" (for which Vaynonen receives screen credit), but only bits and pieces of the rest of the Vaynonen work.See more »
[first lines]
Narrator:It is Christmas Eve. In just a few hours, the clock will chime midnight - a time of magic, and of dreams.
See more »
Movie Connections:
The NutcrackerSee more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
The best-danced production widely available, 26 December 2002
Author: Tug-3 from New York, NY

While other film and video productions of the Tchiakovsky classic emphasize pageantry, amazing sets, and holiday warmth, the American Ballet Theater's `Nutcracker' concentrates on strong dancing and intricate choreography. There is consequently much to adore in this production. Gelsey Kirkland, at the prime of her career, and before her drug addiction and battle with anorexia tragically destroyed her dancing talent, plays Clara as a young girl who matures over the course of the ballet. As such, Baryshnikov's version is less a story of a young girl's Christmas dream, and more a coming-of-age tale.

The party scene of `The Nutcracker' is usually a showcase for the children's classes of a ballet company. The Balanchine version, for example, does not really employ any serious dancing until the Waltz of the Snowflakes; most of the first act features children mulling about with their presents. Baryshnikov chose instead to concentrate on adult dancers, turning the Drosselmayer gift sequences in particular into amazingly intricate, well-danced pieces. The Moorish dance stands out as one of the finest, most exciting dances ever to be caught on film.

Unfortunately, this production does have a few weaknesses. The dancers reportedly complained that the television set where it was filmed was too cramped, and that the soundtrack was too slow. Indeed, the sound throughout is awful; there are many more vibrant recordings of the music that could have been used. These dancers are professionals used to working with a live orchestra, and they seem confined by the canned music. The sets are unspectacular and washed-out, making this version perhaps the least exciting for young children; both the NYC Ballet and the Sendak version are more visually stimulating.

Still, for fans of serious dance, this version must be seen. It is still a thrill to watch Baryshnikov and Kirkland perform.

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