IMDb > Umirayushchii lebed (1917)

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Release Date:
17 January 1917 (Russia) See more »
A grief-stricken ballerina becomes the obsession of an increasingly unhinged artist. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Well-Crafted & Memorable Psychological Melodrama See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)
Vera Karalli ... Gizella - mute dancer
Aleksandr Kheruvimov ... Gizella's Father
Vitold Polonsky ... Viktor Krasovsky
Andrej Gromov ... Valeriy Glinskiy - the artist
Ivane Perestiani ... Glinskiy's friend

Directed by
Yevgeni Bauer 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Zoya Barantsevich 

Produced by
Aleksandr Khanzhonkov .... producer
Cinematography by
Boris Zavelev 
Music Department
Philip Sheppard .... musician: cello (2002)
Jody Talbot .... musician: piano (2002)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
49 min
Sound Mix:


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Well-Crafted & Memorable Psychological Melodrama, 28 June 2005
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

Yevgeni Bauer's "The Dying Swan" is a finely-crafted melodrama that involves all of your emotions, making the viewer not just a witness to, but a part of the psychological struggles of its characters. The story idea is an interesting one, and the script very nicely adapts the idea to the silent screen.

There are essentially only five characters in the story, yet they present a finely-tuned balance between the three ordinary, predictable characters and the two creative geniuses who live for their art. The ballerina Gizella and the artist Glinskiy are both very interesting, and with Bauer's expert guidance the actors (Vera Karalli, who contributes an enchanting ballet sequence, and Andrei Gromov) bring them to life effectively. The artist character is especially nicely drawn, highly eccentric and obsessive, yet with enough balance to make sure that he does not become a stereotype. The other three characters are used effectively as a balance, both in the story developments and in establishing the personalities of the two leads.

Bauer's technique, as always, shows a sure hand, using special techniques at the right places. The dream sequence is particularly affecting, with an atmosphere carefully established, the camera slowly drawing away from Gizella's bed, and then the dream itself using some creative visuals.

The story of love and obsession draws you in almost effortlessly, and it's not possible to pull back, even when the sense of foreboding becomes almost unbearable. As a whole, it's a tightly constructed movie that makes a memorable impression.

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