White Slave
White Slave

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A young woman seeks vengeance and finds love when her parents are killed in the Amazon and she is taken prisoner by an indigenous tribe of headhunters.... (Full plot summary below)

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A young woman seeks vengeance and finds love when her parents are killed in the Amazon and she is taken prisoner by an indigenous tribe of headhunters.

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Movie Reviews

Chicago Tribune - 8/10 by Gene SiskelFor all its superpower simplifications, White Nights has discovered in Baryshnikov a keen and passionate movie hero. Giggle at the film's naiveté; then feast on Misha and dance down the steppes.
Chicago Sun-Times - 6/10 by Roger EbertIt comes to life in the dance sequences, and then drifts away again.
Chicago Reader - 4/10 by Dave KehrDirector Taylor Hackford shapes some engaging performances (the surly, withdrawn Baryshnikov of the early scenes is an intriguing figure) but never extricates himself from the plot machinery; this 1985 feature takes off only in the brief but well-filmed dance sequences.
The New York Times - 4/10 by Vincent CanbyWhite Nights is only tolerable when Mr. Baryshnikov is on screen, especially when he is dancing alone or with Mr. Hines, with whom he does a couple of ballet-tap numbers that are of an order of excellence that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
Los Angeles Times - 4/10 by Sheila BensonThe director, Taylor Hackford, doesn't have the cinematic savvy to sustain so many tensions in a meaningful way; and the screenplay strays far over the line between incisive political comment and heavy-handed Red-baiting.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - 4/10 by Jay ScottPic shies away from the world of classical dance, personified by leading man Mikhail Baryshnikov, in favor of Gregory Hines' 'improvography' and assorted modern stuff in blatant music video contexts.
User Review - 6/10 by SpangleWhite Nights is an interesting film. Part ballet film and part prison escape film, White Nights concerns a popular ballet dancer, Nikolai Rodchenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov). A defector from the Soviet Union, his life is thrown into turmoil when his plane crashes in Siberia and he suddenly winds up back in his homeland again. Not immediately arrested with the Soviets hoping to have him dance at the opening the ballet season, they pair him up with American defector and tap dancer Raymond Greenwood (Gregory Hines), as well as Raymond's Russian wife Darya (Isabella Rossellini). With KGB agent and Nikolai's handler Colonel Chaiko (Jerzy Skolimowski), the trio plan their escape from the Soviet Union. Occurring during the period when Russia is in constant light ("white nights"), there is no place to hide from the KGB, despite public attention Nikolai's presence in his former homeland as a convicted criminal. Heavily focused on the dancing, White Nights often shows too much dancing and not enough plot, especially compared to is lengthy two hour and 16 minute runtime, which is far too long. Though the dancing is tremendous and real life Soviet defector and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov knows what he is doing, the film needed to decide if it was a ballet film or a drama. If the former, then the ballet sequences make a lot of sense and serve a great purpose in the film. If it is a drama, less ballet and tap dancing should have been on the menu. That said, the dancing sequences that add to the plot are tremendous and filled with tension as they use the dancing to lull Chaiko into believing everything is normal. However, the real highlight of the film comes as they escape from Nikolai's apartment building, narrowly trying to avoid the attention of the KGB. Slipping out the window, the scene is filled with tension and terrifically directed by Taylor Hackford. It is largely silent and perfectly paced. The sequence saves the film from being a relatively average film and perfectly captures the paranoia of escaping these type of regimes. Tying it to an earlier scene, however, it does pack a lot of power. For Nikolai, he says he is still Russian despite previously defecting. But, he is not a Soviet. Providing insight into the position people in the Soviet Union and similar countries find themselves in, the film finds considerable power in this throwaway line for its poignancy and relevance to modern society. That said, the film is flawed. As said, it is a bit unfocused when it comes to the storyline resulting in it being far too long. Long stretches of the film drag significantly and barely move anything along, even the characters. It really does suffer from this, but also from the acting. Led by two professional dancers, the film has some killer dance sequences as a result, but their inexperience really shows. Heck, even the professional actors struggle here with nobody turning anything better than average-to-mediocre performances. Finally, the film's finale is a bit of a let down. Far too optimistic and uplifting for a film that goes to great lengths to describe the horror of the Soviet Union, it misses an ample opportunity to show us that horror, opting instead for a sweet and safe ending. This is certainly a let down for a film that, otherwise, did a great job showing the oppression and its impact on ordinary people. A slow and largely unrewarding first half turns into a compelling and tense second half, only to be let down by a happy ending. Largely quite forgettable, Taylor Hackford's White Nights is a solid film that is entertaining with good, if unnecessary, dancing sequences.
User Review - 6/10 by James BThis one was pretty decent. Some nice low-budget gore and the plot actually has some nice twists to it.

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