6.6/10
352
17 user 6 critic

The Unfinished Dance (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 19 September 1947 (USA)
Meg, a young ballet student, idolizes the school's top ballerina, the shallow Ariane Bouchet. Meg is distressed when she learns visiting prima ballerina Darina rather than Bouchet will play... See full summary »

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Paul Morand (story "La Morte du Cygne"), Myles Connolly
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret O'Brien ... 'Meg' Merlin
Cyd Charisse ... Mlle. Ariane Bouchet
Karin Booth ... La Darina
Danny Thomas ... Mr. Paneros
Esther Dale ... Olga
Thurston Hall ... Mr. Ronsell
Harry Hayden ... Murphy
Elinor Donahue ... Josie (as Mary Eleanor Donahue)
Connie Cornell Connie Cornell ... Phyllis
Ruth Brady Ruth Brady ... Miss Merlin
Charles Bradstreet ... Fred Carleton
Ann Codee ... Mme. Borodin
Gregory Gaye ... Jacques Lacoste (as Gregory Gay)
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Storyline

Meg, a young ballet student, idolizes the school's top ballerina, the shallow Ariane Bouchet. Meg is distressed when she learns visiting prima ballerina Darina rather than Bouchet will play the lead in the school's production of "Swan Lake." So on opening night, Meg arranges an accident which nearly kills Darina and ends her dancing career. As a result, Bouchet becomes a star, while Meg is torn with guilt. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's Gorgeous Technicolor Drama! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballerina See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,989,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to studio records, this film lost $1,797,000 for MGM ($19.4M in 2016 dollars). This was the first film produced by Joe Paternak at MGM to lose money. See more »

Goofs

When Meg is running out of the locker room right after the "accident", a moving shadow of the boom microphone and cable can be seen on a pillar in the background. See more »

Quotes

La Darina: Meg, it wasn't easy for me at first, knowing that I wouldn't dance again. It isn't easy now, but...
'Meg' Merlin: I know, I'm a ballerina too.
La Darina: Remember the old saying, I used to cry because I had no shoes, until I saw a child who had no feet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bunheads: The Astronaut and the Ballerina (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Excerpts from 'Swan Lake'
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
strange but fascinating flick
15 January 2010 | by benjweilSee all my reviews

I have to give this film 7 out of 10 stars for originality (yes, I saw it was a remake of a 1938 French film, but it is still quite original). It's always great to see Cyd Charisse dance or do anything in a movie, and she is certainly showcased in this film as an alluring but slightly shallow prima ballerina. The real draw, though, is Margaret O'Brien as Meg, a frighteningly intense little girl who idolizes Charisse as the resident ballet star. Meg's rather shocking actions are equally shockingly glossed over in the end. The would-be feel-good coda is not the least bit convincing! What a high price Meg's victim had to pay, despite the faraway look of goodness in La Darina's glamorous eyes! But O'Brien specialized in intense, scary little girls, didn't she? Her crime in this film and the way in which she is haunted by it remind me of her hysterical confession to "murder" in "Meet Me in St. Louis." She was a strange and very talented little girl, and she is an impressive dancer in this film, too. You can't fudge dancing "en pointe," or you couldn't in 1947, anyway, with the camera focused simultaneously on your face and feet. This is not your everyday forties movie ...


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