White Nights (1985)

Genres - Drama, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Escape Film, Musical Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 22, 1985 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 136 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Michael Costello

It's difficult to gauge why director Taylor Hackford chose to wrap two of the world's most gifted dancers in a hackneyed KGB spy plot, but there's no question that it was a mistake. Plausibility is abandoned from the outset, with Mikhail Baryshnikov as a great dancer who somehow ends up trapped in the Soviet Union after having defected years earlier. In the company of dancer Gregory Hines and his wife, played by Isabella Rossellini, he manages an escape so easy as to suggest brain-damage on the part of the KGB. Nevertheless, given the talents of these two men, combined with the choreography of the brilliant Twyla Tharp, the dancing in the movie is superb. Add the camera work of legendary British photographer David Watkin and you have a film that is well worth watching if one ignores the ridiculous plot. Although Baryshnikov is clearly not suited to the thespian domain, the standout cast includes Helen Mirren and Geraldine Page in supporting roles.