Isadora (1968)

M/PG   |    |  Biography, Drama, Music

Isadora (1968) Poster

A biography of the 1920s dancer Isadora Duncan, who forever changed people's ideas of ballet. Her nude, semi-nude, and pro-Soviet dance projects as well as her attitude and lifestyle shocked the public of her time.


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User Reviews

29 April 2014 | JLRMovieReviews
| A Vanessa Redgrave Essential
The life of Isadora Duncan, a famed artist and dancer of the 1900s to the 1920s, is explored in this film. She is embodied by actress Vanessa Redgrave and it is a match made in heaven. Vanessa wears the cloth of Isadora like a wrap, gracefully but with firm determination. We see Isadora in present day - 1927 - and also in flashbacks that show how she came into prominence. Isadora's presence and personality draws the viewer in as she herself tends to withdraw. You feel her movements throughout the film as being small but meaningful and her breaths are but wisps. Lilts. Tips. Vanessa as Isadora is hardly trying to emphasize any one thing and therefore makes the film an experience in feeling everything. A lightness permeates the film, along with the symbolism of the man driving the car that almost hit her, of whom she searches for thereafter. She does have men in her life - James Fox and Jason Robards, who's a millionaire of the Singer sewing machines empire. But they are only secondary to Vanessa. A mysteriousness and sadness encircle the life we are witnessing through losses, fights, and political views. Take in the life of Isadora - the passion, the impractical, the flighty, the will. She might be her own undoing, but she was Isadora Duncan.

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Did You Know?


This French-English co-production was retitled for its American release stateside as "The Loves of Isadora".


Isadora Duncan: Tomorrow is a hypothesis.

Alternate Versions

NBC broadcast the complete roadshow version over two nights twice in the early 1970s. While that broadcast was missing (1) the Intermission music, (2) the lovemaking scene between Redgrave and James Fox, and (3) a snippet of nudity in the "Marche Slav" sequence, much new footage was added. Karel Reisz's 153-minute Director's Cut from 1987 is very close to what was seen on NBC. What is missing are some early establishing scenes of:

  • The Duncan Family taking a transatlantic cattleboat to Europe in dreadful weather.
  • The Duncan Family checking into Claridge's Hotel as "The O'Gormans" and sneaking out the next day without paying the bill
-Young Isadora and her brother Raymond improvising dances in autumn leaves in Kensington Garden -Many of the Jason Robards/Paris Singer sequences were longer and a tad more intricate. The later trimmings tightened things up a bit. -One additional dance performance sequence The Roadshow's intermission came after Isadora reveals the circumstances involving the death of her children, coming at the 2-hour mark. Russia and her death in Nice followed the Intermission and made up the film's last hour. Generally, the roadshow version differs from the Director's Cut in the overall rhythmic feel of the film. The Riviera/Nice sequences were more of the film's "spine" and the hallucinations of Isadora's children and their funerals begin as a mystery. They intersect more frequently, only very gradually revealing themselves to the viewer. By the time Isadora sits down to document her loss in the harrowing centerpiece, the audience has begun to put the puzzle pieces together.


Brahms 1st Symphony
Composed by
Johannes Brahms


Plot Summary


Biography | Drama | Music | Romance

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