Turning Point

Turning Point

5.0 1
Director: Herbert Ross

Cast: Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, Mikhail Baryshnikov

     
 

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One of a cycle of '70s post-Women's Liberation "women's pictures," Herbert Ross's drama uses the ballet world to examine the conflict between family and career. Former dance colleagues Deedee (Shirley MacLaine) and Emma (Anne Bancroft) are reunited when Emma's New York ballet company stops in Oklahoma City for a performance. Having dropped her career for marriage and… See more details below

Overview

One of a cycle of '70s post-Women's Liberation "women's pictures," Herbert Ross's drama uses the ballet world to examine the conflict between family and career. Former dance colleagues Deedee (Shirley MacLaine) and Emma (Anne Bancroft) are reunited when Emma's New York ballet company stops in Oklahoma City for a performance. Having dropped her career for marriage and motherhood, Deedee envies prima ballerina Emma's limelight life; aging Emma, realizing that her days as a star are numbered, wishes that she had the fulfillment of a family like Deedee's. Tensions simmer when Deedee's talented teenage daughter, Emilia (Leslie Browne), moves to New York to join Emma's company. As Emma maternally bonds with Emilia, and Emilia falls in love with womanizing dancer Yuri (Mikhail Baryshnikov), Deedee feels that she's losing her place even as a mother. After Emilia's triumphant debut, Deedee's and Emma's resentments boil over into an all-out catfight that ends when they realize they can unite in happiness for Emilia's future. Splitting the desires to nest and to work between two characters, Ross and writer Arthur Laurents reveal the difficulty faced by women in a world of expanding options. As in Michael Powell's and Emeric Pressburger's seminal ballet film The Red Shoes (1948), dancing and a personal life don't mix, even as the films display ballet's seductive power here in the gracefully integrated numbers by dance stars Browne and Baryshnikov. Despite reservations about its melodramatic aspects, The Turning Point earned box-office success and eleven Oscar nominations (but no wins). Even if its wife/work struggle seems a bit old-fashioned, Deedee's and Emma's final bond suggests that the next generation may not have the same regrets.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Greatly acclaimed upon its initial release (and scoring an amazing eleven Academy Award nominations), time has dulled much of the appeal of The Turning Point. The melodramatic aspects of the plot, slightly commented upon but generally dismissed in 1977, are the main culprits, but much of writer Arthur Laurents' dialogue is also to blame. It's a bit too obvious in the big scenes, and it sometimes seems to be trying too hard to present its feminist credentials. That said, the script does allow two talented actresses to strut their considerable stuff, and Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine grab the opportunity and run with it, especially in the made-to-order catfight that climaxes the film. Equally as important as the stars' performance are the ballet sequences, which are among the best ever captured on film. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Leslie Browne are acceptable in their dialogue scenes, but they are incandescent and amazing when dancing, especially as captured by Robert Surtees' delicate and perceptive cinematography. Sensitively directed and sporting a lovely design, Turning Point has enough plusses to make up for its soap opera underpinnings.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/19/1993
UPC:
0086162108938
Original Release:
1977
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anne Bancroft Emma
Shirley MacLaine Deedee
Mikhail Baryshnikov Kopeikine
Leslie Browne Emilia
Tom Skerritt Wayne
Martha Scott Adelaide
Antoinette Sibley Sevilla
Alexandra Danilova Dahkarova
Starr Danias Carolyn
Marshall Thompson Carter
James Mitchell Michael
Scott Douglas Freddie
Daniel Levans Arnold
Jurgen Schneider Peter
Anthony Zerbe Rosie
Phillip Saunders Ethan Rodgers
Lisa Lucas Janina
Lucette Aldous Actor
Fernando Bujones Actor
David Byrd Conductor
Suzanne Farrell Actor
Marcia Haydee Actor
Peter Martins Ballet Star
Martine Van Hamel Actor
Charles Ward Ballet Star
James Crittenden Billy Joe
Donald Petrie Barney Joe
Alexander Minz Boys Class Teacher

Technical Credits
Herbert Ross Director,Producer
Frederick Ashton Choreography
George Balanchine Choreography
Albert Brenner Production Designer
Tony Faso Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Jost Sound/Sound Designer
Nora Kaye Executive Producer
John Lanchbery Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Arthur Laurents Producer,Screenwriter
Kenneth MacMillan Choreography
Marvin March Set Decoration/Design
Alexander Minz Choreography
Jennifer Parsons Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Reynolds Editor
Jack Roe Asst. Director
Charles Schram Makeup
Oliver Smith Consultant/advisor
Theodore Soderberg Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Douglas O. Williams Sound/Sound Designer
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer

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