White Nights
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Character: Galina Ivanova
Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Written by: James Goldman, Eric Hughes, Nancy Dowd
Produced by: William P. Gilmore, Taylor Hackford
Other cast: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Geraldine Page, Jerzy Skolimowski, Isabella Rossellini
Release date: December 6, 1985
Genre: Drama
Running time: 2h 16min

An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to become a dancer for the Kirov Academy of Ballet again, but he wishes to escape, but can he trust the American?

Trivia

→ Actress Helen Mirren and director Taylor Hackford met on the set of this movie and would eventually marry.
→ Actress Helen Mirren played her Russian part with great authenticity, which is not surprising as she is half-Russian. She was born Helen (or Yelena) Mironoff, and her father was an emigrant to England from Smolensk, Russia.
→ Cast members Helen Mirren, Gregory Hines, and Isabella Rossellini all traveled to Leningrad aka Saint Petersburg in Russia on a research trip prior to the making of this movie.

Character’s Quotes

• When they told me you had defected to the West, they couldn’t believe that you would leave without telling me. I couldn’t believe it either.
• They took away my passport. For four years I wasn’t allowed to travel.And for three years, they would take me to the big house to answer their questions. Every day, the same, stupid questions!
• And what do you ride, Kolya? A donkey? Yes, I rebuilt my life! I was supposed to throw everything away so that you could live in Disneyland?