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Isadora

The tragic lifelong odyssey of Isadora Duncan, whose consistent non-conformity brought her as much public success as it did personal failure, is told with a remarkable degree of excellence.

The tragic lifelong odyssey of Isadora Duncan, whose consistent non-conformity brought her as much public success as it did personal failure, is told with a remarkable degree of excellence.

The free-thinking aspects of Duncan’s life (unabashed out-of-wedlock affairs and births, hedonism, political idealism, naivete, etc.), are emphasized in this sensitive, lucid, beautifully fashioned, and masterfully executed personal tragedy [based on My Life by Duncan and Isadora Duncan – An Intimate Portrait by Sewell Stokes].

Story unfolds as Duncan (Vanessa Redgrave) dictates memoirs to her secretary. Redgrave’s performance in these scenes, with hollow eyes and a weathered face suggesting the inevitable ends of dissipation, plus her perfect projection of aging flamboyance, demands equality with Gloria Swanson’s classic performance in Sunset Blvd. Where the film falters is its length and pacing.

1969: Nomination: Best Actress (Vanessa Redgrave)

Isadora

UK

  • Production: Universal. Director Karel Reisz; Producer Robert Hakim, Raymond Hakim; Screenplay Melvyn Bragg, Clive Exton, Margaret Drabble; Camera Larry Pizer; Editor Tom Priestley; Music Maurice Jarre; Art Director Jocelyn Herbert
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 141 MIN.
  • With: Vanessa Redgrave John Fraser James Fox Jason Robards Ivan Tchenko Bessie Love
  • Music By: