Specter of the Rose

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For the ballet, see Le Spectre de la Rose.
Specter of the Rose
Spectre of the rose small poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ben Hecht
Produced by Ben Hecht
Screenplay by Ben Hecht
Music by George Antheil
Cinematography Lee Garmes
Edited by Harry Keller
Production
company
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release dates
  • July 5, 1946 (1946-07-05) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Specter of the Rose is a 1946 ballet murder mystery film noir written and directed by Ben Hecht and starring Judith Anderson, Ivan Kirov, Viola Essen, Michael Chekhov, and Lionel Stander, with choreography by Tamara Geva, and music by George Antheil.[1]

Plot[edit]

A male ballet superstar (Kirov) is suspected of murdering his first wife (his former ballet partner) and now possibly threatening his new wife and ballet partner (Essen). Anderson plays an embittered ballet teacher, and Chekhov plays an impresario.

Cast[edit]

  • Judith Anderson as Madame La Sylph
  • Michael Chekhov as Max Polikoff
  • Ivan Kirov as Andre Sanine
  • Viola Essen as Haidi
  • Lionel Stander as Lionel Gans
  • Charles Marshall as Specs McFarlan
  • George Shdanoff as Kropotkin
  • Billy Gray as Jack Jones
  • Juan Panalle as Jibby
  • Lew Hearn as Mr. Lyons
  • Ferike Boros as Mamochka
  • Bert Hanlon as Margolies
  • Constantine as Alexis Bloom
  • Fred Pollino]] as Giovanni
  • Polly Rose as Olga

Background[edit]

Excerpts from the ballet Le Spectre de la Rose, which uses Carl Maria von Weber's piano piece Invitation to the Dance as orchestrated by Hector Berlioz, are featured in the film.

Adaptation[edit]

The screenplay was adapted for the radio series Inner Sanctum Mysteries on August 19, 1946. Ben Hecht appeared and the script was adapted by the playwright and Broadway stage actor Robert Sloane.

Reception[edit]

When the film was released, Variety magazine gave the film a mixed review. The staff wrote, "Ben Hecht, to say the least, has done the expected by coming up with the unusual. Specter of the Rose was obviously a conscious attempt by Hecht to prove on how small a budget he could produce an acceptable picture. Reports are that it cost in the neighborhood of $160,000. The serious defect production wise is a general lack of polish that is at times disturbing ... Hecht’s direction and dialog give the acting a stylized artificiality that grows on the spectator as the picture progresses. Satire of the characterizations makes many of the film’s people virtually caricatures."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Specter of the Rose at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Variety. Staff film review, 1946. Accessed: July 26, 2013.

External links[edit]

Streaming audio[edit]