Silk Stockings (film)
Silk Stockings is a 1957 Metrocolor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer CinemaScope musical film adaptation of the 1955 stage musical of the same name, which itself was an adaptation of the film Ninotchka (1939). Silk Stockings was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and stars Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The supporting cast includes Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin, and George Tobias repeating his Broadway role.
Cyd Charisse in the trailer
|Directed by||Rouben Mamoulian|
|Produced by||Arthur Freed|
|Written by||Abe Burrows (1955 play)
George S. Kaufman
|Screenplay by||Leonard Gershe
Harry Kurnitz (uncredited)
by Melchior Lengyel
|Music by||Cole Porter
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
|Cinematography||Robert J. Bronner|
|Edited by||Harold F. Kress|
|July 18, 1957|
The score was embellished with the song "The Ritz Roll and Rock", a parody of the then-emerging rock and roll genre. The number ends with Astaire symbolically smashing his top hat, considered one of his trademarks, signaling his retirement from movie musicals, which he announced following the film's release.
A brash American film producer, Steve Canfield (Fred Astaire), wants Russian composer Peter Illyich Boroff (Wim Sonneveld) to write music for his next picture, which is being made in Paris. But when the composer expresses his wish to stay in Paris, three comically bumbling operatives, Comrades Brankov (Peter Lorre), Bibinski (Jules Munshin) and Ivanov (Joseph Buloff), are sent from Moscow to take Boroff back.
Canfield manages to corrupt them with decadent western luxuries (champagne, women, nightclubs, etc.) and talks them into allowing Boroff to stay. He also arranges for his leading lady, Peggy Dayton (Janis Paige), to "convince" Boroff to cooperate.
Fearful of his own precarious position, a commissar at the Ministry in Moscow summons a dedicated and humorless workaholic operative, Nina "Ninotchka" Yoschenko (Cyd Charisse), to bring all four men back home. Canfield succeeds in romancing her, despite her determination not to fall prey to the decadent attractions of Paris. He even proposes marriage. She and Boroff are horrified when they realize what changes have been made to Boroff's music. They decide to return to Moscow.
Canfield does not give up, arranging for the pliable Brankov, Bibinski, and Ivanov to be sent back to Paris, knowing that they will be seduced again by the city's charms. Ninotchka is sent after them, giving Canfield time to convince her to give in to her love for him.
MGM bought the film rights to the musical for $300,000. Dance rehearsals started 18 September 1956 and filming ended 31 January 1957.
According to MGM records, the film earned $1,740,000 in the US and Canada and $1,060,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $1,399,000.
The film is recognized by the American Film Institute in these lists:
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- "Silk Stockings". Broadway Musical Home. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Ninotchka". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- "Silk Stockings". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- Crowther, Bosley (July 19, 1957). "The Screen: 'Silk Stockings' Arrives; Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse Co-Star". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Golden Globes 1957". Sijmen's List of Film Classics. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 182-184
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
- "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.