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The White Crow (2018)

2:12 | Trailer
The story of Rudolf Nureyev's defection to the West.


Ralph Fiennes


David Hare (screenplay), Julie Kavanagh (Inspired by her book: "Rudolf Nureyev: The Life")
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Oleg Ivenko ... Rudolf Nureyev
Ralph Fiennes ... Aleksandr Ivanovich Pushkin
Louis Hofmann ... Teja Kremke
Adèle Exarchopoulos ... Clara Saint
Sergei Polunin ... Yuri Soloviev
Olivier Rabourdin ... Alexinsky
Raphaël Personnaz ... Pierre Lacotte
Chulpan Khamatova ... Xenia
Zach Avery ... Michael Jones
Mar Sodupe ... Helena Romero
Calypso Valois Calypso Valois ... Claire Motte
Aleksey Morozov Aleksey Morozov ... Strizhevsky
Nebojsa Dugalic ... Konstantin Sergeyev
Igor Filipovic Igor Filipovic ... Trofimkin
Yves Heck ... Jagaud-Lachaume


Director Ralph Fiennes captures the raw physicality and brilliance of Rudolf Nureyev, whose escape to the West stunned the world at the height of the Cold War. With his magnetic presence, Nureyev emerged as ballet's most famous star, a wild and beautiful dancer limited by the world of 1950s Leningrad. His flirtation with Western artists and ideas led him into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with the KGB. Written by Anonymous B

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In 1961, A Dazzling Rudolf Nureyev Arrives in Paris and Makes a Choice That Changes His Life Forever


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, graphic nudity, and language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Writer David Hare and actor-director Ralph Fiennes previously collaborated on another espionage related production, the 'Worricker' trilogy for television, where Fiennes acted and Hare wrote and directed. The three parts are [in order]: 'Page Eight', 'Turks & Caicos', and 'Salting the Battlefield'. See more »


A title card at one point says "The Mariinsky Theatre, Leningrad." However, the theater did not regain that historic Tsarist-era name until 1992. At the time the film is set, during the Soviet era, the building was known as The Kirov Theatre. See more »


Claire Motte: You are with the company? Did you dance tonight?
Rudolf Nureyev: If I had danced, you would remember.
See more »


Featured in Projector: The White Crow (2019) See more »

User Reviews

The 1960s defection of Soviet dancer Nureyev.
11 August 2019 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

My wife and I watched this at home on DVD from our public library.

While the focus of this movie is the 1961 defection of ballet dancer Nureyev you can't really tell that part of his life without understanding his beginnings, from being born on a train in 1938 to studying under the demanding Soviet system. Most of that takes up the first half of the movie.

I remember Nureyev well, he was such an inventive dancer and became popular world-wide in the 1960s and 1970s but I never knew his story. When the company of dancers would tour outside the USSR they were not supposed to exchange ideas or even talk to people from other countries but Nureyev never really followed the rules. When it looked like going back home might be bad for him, in France he defected, asking for political asylum. The scenes that retell and dramatize the incident are some of the best in this movie.

For the role Oleg Ivenko, a Ukranian who really is a ballet dancer in Russia and a first-time actor, plays Rudolf Nureyev and he plays him very well.

A really well made movie and a well told story, we enjoyed it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

22 March 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Crow See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,782, 28 April 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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