Specter of the Rose
|Specter of the Rose|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ben Hecht|
|Produced by||Ben Hecht|
|Screenplay by||Ben Hecht|
|Music by||George Antheil|
|Editing by||Harry Keller|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
|Running time||90 minutes|
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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."
More recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz praised the production. He wrote, "Writer Ben Hecht (Angels Over Broadway/Soak The Rich/The Scoundrel) tries his hand at directing, in this cynical serio-comic ballet melodrama that distinguishes itself by its brilliant dialogue and ability to blend together kitsch art with a wild-eyed film noir tale. It offers memorable acerbic lines such as 'the masses would never get married if the poets didn't tell them how beautiful it is,' 'art itself is a miracle,' and 'love is a seasonal thing among artists.' ... Hecht amazingly brings art to the Republic studio, known for making artless actions pics that please the masses. It has a very funny blend of culture and soap opera story telling, that's richly flavored by the world of ballet and the artsy-fartsy crowd that reside in that world. It's a one-of-kind film that I enjoy seeing again and again over the years, without ever tiring of its pretenses."
- Specter of the Rose at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Specter of the Rose at the Internet Movie Database
- Specter of the Rose at allmovie
- Specter of the Rose at the TCM Movie Database
- Specter of the Rose film scene at YouTube