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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 & 2 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?


When the young Nureyev enters the Leningrad Choreographic School in 1955, the framed photograph on the wall that he gazes at is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. See more »


In a scene showing a close up of Nureyev's foot performing a tendu, the shoe he is wearing is a white split sole ballet slipper, a shoe that did not exist in the 1960s. Split sole ballet technique shoes have only been on the dance scene since the mid 1990s. See more »


[First Lines - dialogue entirely in Russian with English subtitles]
Interrogator: You knew.
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pushkin: No.
Interrogator: You knew what he was planning to do.
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pushkin: No.
Interrogator: You're saying he never spoke of defection?
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pushkin: The subject never came up.
Interrogator: He never spoke of it?
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pushkin: Never.
Interrogator: This is an attack on the Soviet Union.
See more »


Referenced in Evening Urgant: Ralph Fiennes/Nervy (2019) See more »

User Reviews

Deliberately Paced Biopic With a Tension Packed Finale
1 September 2019 | by larrys3See all my reviews

First-time actor Oleg Ivenko gives a strong performance here in the lead role of renowned ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. The biopic also has a most solid supporting cast and is directed by the fine actor Ralph Fiennes (who also has a supporting role in the film), and is written by the most talented David Hare, based on the book by Julie Kavanagh.

The biopic covers the early years of Nureyev from his most difficult early life in the Soviet Union, his incredible innate talent for ballet dancing, his complicated and flamboyant personality, love of the arts, and a most fervent desire for freedom.

I felt the heart of the movie was the tension filled final 20 minutes or so of Nureyev's defection to the West at a Paris airport, in 1961.He would be the first Soviet notable to do so during the Cold War.

All in all, although this biopic is deliberately paced and a little too long at over 2 hours in length I felt it was a solid effort all around. To note, Rudolph Nureyev would pass away in 1993 from AIDS, at the age of 54.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | France | Serbia


Russian | English | French | Spanish

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
See full technical specs »

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