22 August 2006 | Petrushka
A 19th century circus performer who becomes a ballerina
I saw this movie when I was 14 years old and it must have left quite an impression on me, even though it most likely was one of the worst ballet films ever made. I was too young and knew nothing about dance to be critical then. This was long before "The Red Shoes" or "Turning Point" which give a far truer picture of the real world of ballet. Besides, Loretta Young was certainly no ballet dancer so I wonder how she managed to present that impression. It was so long ago I have forgotten most of it, except her dressed in a short skirt which I later came to find out is called a tutu. I can remember her standing on horseback, riding around a ring in a circus and Conrad Veidt in the audience, who is a ballet master, taking her under his instruction and later making her into a world famous ballerina. In one scene, after he has put her through endless ballet exercises, she begs for water and he creully refuses. Another scene, after she has become famous, posing in the famous final dying swan pose with a spotlight on her feet. These are the only scenes that come to mind. I was still only a youngster of 14. All through the years I have looked for a video of this movie, basically to see what was in it that impressed me so much because I myself eventually became a dancer. Not because of this film but with other influences that came later on in life. There seems to be no video available and I wonder why as there are plenty of other releases of films with Loretta Young.