The Turning Point (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Turning Point (1977)

The Turning Point (1977)

The Turning Point



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Turning Point Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Choreographer-turned-director Herbert Ross' The Turning Point is credited with making ballet "box office." The film's basic plot is strictly Old Acquaintance stuff: Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft star as best-friend ballet dancers, whose lives take divergent paths. MacLaine gives up fame and fortune to become the wife of Tom Skerritt, the mother of Skerritt's children, and a small-town dance teacher. Bancroft goes the distance, becoming a top-rank ballerina. After many years, the two women stage a reunion, comparing notes: Bancroft would prefer to have a family and to halt the aging process, while MacLaine is regretful and resentful over choosing middle-class complacency. When MacLaine's daughter Leslie Browne shows potential as a ballerina, Bancroft offers Browne a position in the dance company, thereby planting the seed of a rivalry between herself and MacLaine that culminates in one of the funniest knock-down-drag-out fights in film history. It is easy to forgive the predictably of Arthur Laurent's screenplay as the viewer luxuriates in the flawlessly photographed (by Robert Surtees) ballet sequences, highlighting Leslie Browne and the matchless Mikhail Baryshnikov, here making his dramatic film debut.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Arthur Laurents
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2005
Paramount Pictures

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Tom Skerritt
as Wayne Rodgers
Martha Scott
as Adelaide
Starr Danias
as Carolyn
Phillip Saunders
as Ethan Rodgers
Lisa Lucas
as Janina Rodgers
Scott Douglas
as Freddie Ronoff
David Byrd
as Conductor
Alexander Minz
as Boys Class Teacher
Enrique Martínez
as Ballet Master
Saxe Bradbury
as Florence
Howard Barr
as Pianist
Lucette Aldous
as Ballet Star
Fernando Bujones
as Ballet Star
Richard Cragun
as Ballet Star
Suzanne Farrell
as Ballet Star
Marcia Haydee
as Ballet Star
Peter Martins
as Ballet Star
Clark Tippet
as Ballet Star
Martine Van Hamel
as Ballet Star
Charles Ward
as Ballet Star
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Turning Point

Critic Reviews for The Turning Point

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5)

You yield to The Turning Point relucantly, knowing well that it is conning you -- with sentiment, with flamboyance, with sheer slickness.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

For a film ostensibly dedicated to physical grace, Ross's images are unforgivably clumsy.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The Turning Point is one of the best films of its era.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

There's some beautiful dancing and a wealth of detail about the world of classical ballet.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Turning Point is entertaining, not for discovering new material, but for treating old material with style and romantic feeling that, in this day and age, seem remarkably unafraid.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A well-made soap opera with a story that right out of a 1930s backstage musical.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Turning Point


An insufferable and melodramatic soap-opera that didn't deserve any of the eleven Oscar nominations it got, especially for a mediocre script that has no structure or clear focus and the acting nods for Browne and Baryshnikov, whose nominations are an insult to any real actor.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A former ballet dancer's daughter moves to New York to star in a big-time ballet company, and the move resurfaces old grudges.
I suppose that the highlights of this film are the ballet sequences, which are well-choreographed and visually fun to watch. But these sequences do nothing to advance the story or the film's characters; they divert the film's focus. Deedee, played by Shirley MacLaine, is the center of the film's main conflict, and Deedee must reconcile her choice - to settle down and have a family rather than compete against Emma, played by Anne Bancroft, for professional success. Despite scenes in which Deedee looks on enviously as her daughter achieves the success she never did, this conflict just sits in the background, and there aren't many moments in which we see Deedee working to resolve the conflict. The affair subplot is lame and poorly presented, and the final fight between Emma and Deedee resolves like a bad Lifetime movie - illogical, maudlin, and wracked with a bond between women that nobody could understand or believe.
Overall, if you like ballet, skip the poor excuse for a plot between the dance scenes.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


A boring, talky, and slow movie about dancers. There are some good actors in the movie, but overall it's boring.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Turning Point Quotes

– Submitted by Gail S (4 months ago)

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