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Specter of the Rose (1946)

Ballet dancer Sanine may have murdered his first wife. A detective thinks so, and he's not the only one. Sanine is charming, if a little peculiar. Haidi, a ballerina, marries him. The ... See full summary »


Ben Hecht


Ben Hecht (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Judith Anderson ... Madame La Sylph
Michael Chekhov ... Max Polikoff
Ivan Kirov Ivan Kirov ... Andre Sanine
Viola Essen Viola Essen ... Haidi
Lionel Stander ... Lionel Gans
Charles 'Red' Marshall Charles 'Red' Marshall ... Specs McFarlan (as Charles Marshall)
George Shdanoff George Shdanoff ... Kropotkin (as George Shadnoff)
Billy Gray Billy Gray ... Jack Jones
Juan Panalle Juan Panalle ... Jibby
Lew Hearn ... Mr. Lyons
Ferike Boros Ferike Boros ... Mamochka
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Margolies
Constantine Constantine ... Alexis Bloom
Fred Pollino Fred Pollino ... Giovanni (as Ferdinand Pollina)
Polly Rose Polly Rose ... Olga


Ballet dancer Sanine may have murdered his first wife. A detective thinks so, and he's not the only one. Sanine is charming, if a little peculiar. Haidi, a ballerina, marries him. The company takes its new production on tour. But Sanine's control seems to be slipping... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BEN HECHT'S strange story of the ballet world See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 July 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spectre of the Rose See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The only film Ivan Kirov appeared in. He worked on the stage and made at least one appearance as himself on television. See more »


Andre Sanine: Hug me with your eyes.
Haidi: I am.
Andre Sanine: Harder.
See more »


Referenced in Baryshnikov: Live at Wolf Trap (1976) See more »


Invitation to the Dance
Music by Carl Maria von Weber
See more »

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User Reviews

A dancer is hospitalized after the tragic death of his wife and recalled to the stage in a second chance by a second wife.
4 January 2015 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This was one of the most unforgettable films I saw as a child, I never had the opportunity to see it again until 50 years later, and it remains a lasting impact. Its weaknesses are admitted, it's more like a play than a film, (although some cinematic tricks occur as positive surprises,) the acting is not very brilliant but rather stiff, the camera moves as little as possible; but against all these foibles you have the overwhelmingly beautiful and brilliant story and play, the virtuoso dialogue all the way, and above all, the music, the dances and the poetry. Ben Hecht clearly conceived the idea inspired by the fate of Nijinsky, who was disabled as a schizophrenic from the first world war till after the second, and the real theme of the film is the freedom of artistic madness at its most exuberant and creative. Michael Chekhov sometimes tediously dominates long scenes of the film as the sore tried impresario of infinite tribulations who nevertheless is wholeheartedly sympathetic but outflanked by the indomitable realist of long and hard experience, Judith Anderson, who is magnificent in every scene; while the focus of the drama is the dancer's genius and the difficulty of handling it, or rather, subjecting it to discipline, because it's so totally beyond control that it really can't be disciplined, only at best directed in a creative vein. Powell-Pressburger's classic "The Red Shoes" a few years later would have been unthinkable without this for a road mark, and it must remain for always one of the most important and innovative ballet films ever made, especially for its delicate treatment of the difficult subject of genius. The film gains by seeing it a number of times, at first sight its depth and ingenuity is not obvious, but as you sink into it you never reach the bottom. This is an ingenious film about the trickiness of genius.

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