ⓘ Silk Stockings (1957 film)

                                     

ⓘ Silk Stockings (1957 film)

Silk Stockings is a 1957 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical film adaptation, filmed in CinemaScope, of the 1955 stage musical of the same name, which itself was an adaptation of the film Ninotchka. Silk Stockings was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by Arthur Freed, and starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The supporting cast includes Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin, and George Tobias repeating his Broadway role. It was choreographed by Eugene Loring and Hermes Pan.

It received Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Film and Best Actress Charisse in the Comedy/Musical category.

The score was embellished with the new song "The Ritz Roll and Rock", a parody of then-emerging rock and roll. 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 films release.

                                     

1. Plot summary

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, 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 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 Boroffs 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 citys charms. Ninotchka is sent after them, giving Canfield time to convince her to give in to her love for him.

                                     

2. Cast

  • Cyd Charisse as Ninotchka Yoschenko
  • Joseph Buloff as Ivanov
  • Wim Sonneveld as Peter Ilyitch Boroff
  • Fred Astaire as Steve Canfield
  • Jules Munshin as Bibinski
  • Peter Lorre as Brankov
  • Janis Paige as Peggy Dayton
  • George Tobias as Vassili Markovitch, Commisar of Art
                                     

3. Songs

Music & lyrics by Cole Porter.

  • "All of You"
  • "Siberia"
  • "The Ritz Roll and Rock"
  • "Its a Chemical Reaction, Thats All"
  • "Fated to Be Mated"
  • "Too Bad"
  • "Paris Loves Lovers"
  • "Stereophonic Sound"
  • "Josephine"
  • "Satin and Silk"
  • "The Red Blues"
  • "Without Love"
                                     

4. Reception

According to MGM records, the film earned $1.740.000 in the U.S. 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:

  • 2004: AFIs 100 Years.100 Songs
  • "All of You" – Nominated
  • 2006: AFIs Greatest Movie Musicals – Nominated