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White Nights (1985)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 6 December 1985 (USA)
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An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to... See full summary »

Director:

Taylor Hackford

Writers:

James Goldman (screenplay), Eric Hughes (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikhail Baryshnikov ... Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko
Gregory Hines ... Raymond Greenwood
Jerzy Skolimowski ... Colonel Chaiko
Helen Mirren ... Galina Ivanova
Geraldine Page ... Anne Wyatt
Isabella Rossellini ... Darya Greenwood
John Glover ... Wynn Scott
Stefan Gryff Stefan Gryff ... Captain Kirigin
William Hootkins ... Chuck Malarek
Shane Rimmer ... Ambassador Smith
Florence Faure Florence Faure ... Ballerina (Death)
David Savile David Savile ... Pilot
Ian Liston Ian Liston ... Co-Pilot
Benny Young Benny Young ... Flight Engineer
Hilary Drake Hilary Drake ... Stewardess I
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Storyline

An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to become a dancer for the Kirov Academy of Ballet again, but he wishes to escape, but can he trust the American? Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men. Not soldiers. Not heroes. Just dancers. Willing to risk their lives for freedom-and each other. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

6 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sol de medianoche See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$477,539, 24 November 1985

Gross USA:

$42,160,849
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the interior of the Kirov Theater was filmed in a theater in Portugal, the exterior seen in the film is the actual Kirov theater in Leningrad in the then USSR. The filming location (Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg, Russia) differs, because the present name of the theater, the city and the country are used. See more »

Goofs

During Chaiko's interrogation of Rodchenko at the clinic, the torn items thrown on Rodchenko change. The image of a partial American Express Gold Card appears, disappears, then re-appears during the course of the questioning. See more »

Quotes

Raymond Greenwood: Don't do this! He's just a goddamn dancer!
Colonel Chaiko: Yes, I agree, not worth her life, is he? Vshtay!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema release was cut by 16s to remove two uses of 'fuck' to earn a PG rating. Subsequent video versions restore the strong language and raise the certificate to 15. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wet Hot American Summer (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Separate Lives
(Love Theme)
Written by Stephen Bishop
Produced by Arif Mardin, Phil Collins, and Hugh Padgham
Performed by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
Courtesy of Atlantic Records and Virgin Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best ballet film ever
15 June 1999 | by M-19See all my reviews

The plot of White Nights is well-planned, the script neatly written and two relatively unknown actors as the lead men - Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines - carry this feature well. The end result is a touching, funny drama with a romantic edge. It is, therefore, a good film in its own right. But the real reason to see it is for the spectacular dancing of Baryshnikov. I last saw the film - wait for it - in 1990 but it has remained one of the most moving films I have ever seen: so much so that it inspired me to pay a sizeable sum for the pleasure of seeing Baryshnikov dance at the Sadlers Wells Theatre in London in June 1999, 9 years later, having never thought I would have the opportunity to see my school-days hero live and in person...

Gregory Hines is a good second-lead (and has been much underused in films since), providing a sparring partner for Baryshnikov both in dance - as jazz/tap dancer vs ballet dancer - and to the benefit of the script. Isabella Rosselini plays a damsel in distress, complementing the duo and providing the romantic angle, balancing the story-line.

Overall it is a well-made film, though not the best ever, and if your interest lies about as far afield from dance as the local football field it is unlikely to appeal. But for anyone wanting to see a romantic 'weepie' it can provide a good slice of entertainment for a Sunday afternoon. And as for the dancing ... well, Baryshnikov was 37 then and I have never seen such athleticism and agility in a dancer of that age. Such expressive emotions come through his steps that he needs no words.

Without the dancing the film would undoubtedly have lost its true winning power, but with it may well have provided the motivation to dance for both children and adults ... I hope you enjoy it as much as I have

9 years later it is remains one of my top 20 best films.


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