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

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A belief has arisen, because of some misguided contemporary reviews, that this famous version of the ballet shows Drosselmeyer lusting after Clara, and Clara somewhat in love with him, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are fond of each other, but that is all. He does what he does at the end to bring her back to reality, not out of jealousy, despite what the Time Magazine reviewer of the stage version of this production said. And Clara is in love with the Nutcracker Prince, not with Drosselmeyer, so there is absolutely nothing incestuous about Drosselmeyer's relationship with her. Much of this production takes its inspiration from the old Vasily Vainonen version of the ballet, which has been revived numerous times in Russia. In that production, Clara and Drosselmeyer are warm and affectionate toward each other, and nobody has ever encountered anything incestuous or sexual in it.

Clara and the Prince do embrace tenderly near the beginning of Act II as he takes her in his arms and they spin around, but there is no sex, nudity, or even kissing in the version under discussion here, and it has become a television classic. There has never been complete nudity in any version of "The Nutcracker", although there apparently is plenty of sexual innuendo in Mark Morris's satirical version "The Hard Nut", in Maurice Bejart's version, which completely dispenses with the ballet's plot and does contain near nudity, and in Matthew Bourne's version, entitled simply "Nutcracker!" . Also,the relationship between Masha (the Clara figure) and the Nutcracker Prince is rather erotic in Mikhail Chemiakin's Mariinsky Ballet "Nutcracker", released on DVD in 2008.

There is a battle between the toys and the mice, but it is extremely mild, and certainly not scary. At one point, it becomes almost comical: Clara puts her fingers in her ears during the battle when she notices that a cannon is about to be fired, and the Mouse King seems to be trying to "unplug" his stopped-up ears after that cannon shot.

Fritz takes Clara's nutcracker, the two get into a pulling match and the head comes off the Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker re-inacts the sword fight with the Mouse King in his kingdom.

None; it's a ballet, and there is no dialogue.

There is social drinking at the Christmas Party. One of the guests gets very drunk, and he accidentally pulls the head off the Nutcracker, trying to make it grow to life-size. Later on, the dancer who portrays this guest also plays the Mouse King, and he is wearing the same coat as the guest. It is implied that Clara is dreaming that this obnoxious guest has become the Mouse King.

Nothing any more frightening than in your usual production of "The Nutcracker", and Drosselmeyer is not nearly as creepy as he is in the 1986 Maurice Sendak-designed version or the 2008 Mariinsky one.


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