Isadora


2h 18m 1968

Brief Synopsis

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

Film Details

Also Known As
The Loves of Isadora
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Biography
Dance
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 18 Dec 1968
Production Company
Universal Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Yugoslavia
Screenplay Information
Based on the book My Life by Isadora Duncan (New York, 1927) and the book Isadora Duncan: An Intimate Portrait (London, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Synopsis

In 1927, Isadora Duncan has become a legend as the innovator of modern dance, a temperamental bohemian, and an outspoken advocate of free love. Now past 40, she lives in poverty in a small hotel on the French Riviera with her companion Mary Desti and her secretary Roger, to whom she is dictating her memoirs. As a young girl in California, Isadora first demonstrates her disdain for accepted social standards by burning her parents' marriage certificate and pledging her dedication to the pursuit of art and beauty. In 1896, she performs under the name of Peppy Dora in a rowdy music hall in Chicago and publicly embarrasses the theater manager into paying her $300 so that she can take her family to England. Modeling her free-form style of dance and costume after Greek classicism, she rapidly acquires international acclaim. In Berlin, she meets her first love, Gordon Craig, a young stage designer who promises her that together they will create a new world of theater. After bearing the already-married Craig a daughter, Isadora moves to Paris and meets Paris Singer, a millionaire who lavishes gifts upon her and later buys her an enormous estate for her to open a School for Life, where only beauty and simplicity are taught. Following the birth of a son, Isadora returns to England with Singer but becomes bored with her quiet life and enters into an affair with her pianist, Armand. A short time later, both of her children are drowned when their chauffeur-driven car plunges off a bridge into the Seine. Broken by the tragedy, Isadora leaves Singer and wanders about Europe until in 1921 she receives an offer to open a dancing school in the Soviet Union. Unaffected by the country's poverty, she develops a strong rapport with the peasantry and has a passionate affair with Sergei Essenin, a volatile poet whom she marries so that he can obtain a visa to accompany her to the United States. Essenin's outrageous behavior turns a press conference into a shambles, however, and U. S. anti-Bolshevist sentiment turns to open hostility when Isadora bares her breasts during a dance recital in Boston. Following the disintegration of her marriage, she returns to Nice to write her memoirs. Impulsively selling her possessions in order to open a new school in Paris, Isadora goes to a local cafe to celebrate and spots Bugatti, a handsome Italiam whom she has been admiring for several days. She goes for a drive with him in his sports car, and as they roar along a road by the sea, Isadora's long chiffon scarf catches in the spokes of a wheel and strangles her.

Crew

Olga Angelinetta

Hairstyles

Terry Apsey

Constr Manager

Maurice Askew

Sound

Jim Atkinson

Dial Editor

Johann Sebastian Bach

"Rejouissance" from suite no. 4 in d

Philip Baker

Assistant film Editor

Henri Baum

Prod rep for Yugoslavia, Italy & France

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Symphony no. 7 in a

Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin

Symphony no. 2 in b minor

Anthony Bowles

Music for dance seq and period dance Musicic comp

Anthony Bowles

Classical and dance Music Arrangements & Conductor

Melvyn Bragg

Screenwriter

Melvyn Bragg

Adaptation

Jackie Breed

Costume Design

Miriam Brickman

Casting

John Briggs

Costume Design

Ralph Brinton

Art Director

Frédéric François Chopin

Waltz in a flat, opus 42

Biddy Chrystal

Hairstyles

Harry Cordwell

Set Dresser

Margaret Drabble

Additional Dialogue

Clive Exton

Screenwriter

Bryan Graves

Set Dresser

Raymond Hakim

Producer

Raymond Hakim

Company

Robert Hakim

Producer

Robert Hakim

Company

Jean Hall

Prod Secretary

Jocelyn Herbert

Production Design

Adrian Hughes

Assistant Director

Maurice Jarre

Original Music comp & Conductor

Roger King

Assistant art Director

Denis Lewiston

Camera Operator

Ruth Myers

Wardrobe

Grania O'shannon

Assistant Director

Roy Parkinson

Prod Supervisor

Litz Pisk

Choreography

Larry Pizer

Director of Photography

Branko Ple¿a

Russian adv

Tom Priestley

Film Editor

Eric Rattray

Production Manager

Terry Rawlings

Sound Editing

Ken Ritchie

Sound

Wally Schneiderman

Makeup

Franz Peter Schubert

Impromptu in b flat, opus 142

Aleksandr Nikolaevich Scriabin

Poeme opus 32 no. 1

Miso Senecic

Art Director

Michael Seymour

Art Director

Ann Skinner

Cont

John Philip Sousa

"Washington post march"

Pëtr Ilich Tchaikovsky

"March slav"

Barney Wan

Main titles

Claude Watson

Assistant Director

Film Details

Also Known As
The Loves of Isadora
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Biography
Dance
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 18 Dec 1968
Production Company
Universal Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Yugoslavia
Screenplay Information
Based on the book My Life by Isadora Duncan (New York, 1927) and the book Isadora Duncan: An Intimate Portrait (London, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1968
Vanessa Redgrave

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in England, France, Italy, and Yugoslavia. Opened in London in March 1969; running time: 138 min. Withdrawn from distribution shortly after opening and cut by 20 and then 26 min. Opened in New York in 1969 as The Loves of Isadora at 131 min. Copyright length: 136 min.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted Best Actress (Redgrave) for 1969 by the National Society of Film Critics.

Voted One of the Ten Best English-language Films by the 1969 National Board of Review.

Released in United States Winter December 1968

Released in United States on Video July 14, 1988

Re-released in United States on Video June 29, 1994

Formerly distributed by MCA Home Video.

Released in United States Winter December 1968

Released in United States on Video July 14, 1988

Re-released in United States on Video June 29, 1994