Silk Stockings (film)
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Cyd Charisse in the trailer
|Directed by||Rouben Mamoulian|
|Written by||Leonard Gershe
Abe Burrows (play)
|Music by||Cole Porter|
|Release dates||July 18, 1957|
|Running time||117 minutes|
|Box office||$2.25 million (US rentals)|
Silk Stockings is a 1957 MGM musical film adaptation of the 1955 stage musical of the same name, which itself was a remake of Ninotchka. It was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The supporting cast included Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin, and George Tobias repeating his Broadway role.
It received Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Film and Best Actress (Charisse) in the Comedy/Musical category.
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.
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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, 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 humourless 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 realise 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.
- "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30