Silk Stockings (1957)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Silk Stockings, a musical version of the 1939 Greta Garbo film Ninotchka, was adapted for the stage by George S. Kaufman, Leueen McGrath (the then-Mrs. Kaufman) and Abe Burrows, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The Broadway production, starring Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche, ran 478 performances. The 1957 film version cast Fred Astaire as a movie producer and Cyd Charisse as dedicated communist functionary Ninotchka. In the original 1939 film, Ninotchka was sent from Mother Russia to Paris to check up on three commissars, who in turn had been ordered to retrieve a fortune in Czarist jewels. This time the commissar trio, played by Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin and Joseph Buloff, have been dispatched to Paris to reclaim defecting Soviet composer Wim Sonneveld. Since Astaire wants the composer to write the songs for his newest musical, he plies the commissars with wine, women and song, dissuading them from their mission. When Ninotchka shows up to retrieve the errant Russians, Astaire turns on the old charm with her as well. She gradually succumbs to the combined lures of romance and capitalism, but returns to Russia when she believes that Astaire has thrown her over for film-star Janis Paige (delivering a hilarious take-off of swimming star Esther Williams). But Astaire convinces her that he truly loves her, and all is well. Most of the Cold-War comedy in the Broadway production of Silk Stockings remains intact in the movie version (Soviet official George Tobias, seeking information on his predecessor, looks up the man's record in "Who's Still Who"). Also surviving virtually untouched is the Cole Porter score, including "All Of You," "A Chemical Reaction," "Without Love," "Satin and Silk," "The Red Blues," "Stereophonic Sound," and the rollicking "Siberia" (which offers the spectacle of a singing, dancing Peter Lorre!) Watch for Fred Astaire's future TV-special partner Barrie Chase as one of the dancers.
Classics , Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
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Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Fred Astaire
as Steve Canfield
Cyd Charisse
as Ninotchka Yoschenko
Janis Paige
as Peggy Dayton
Peter Lorre
as Brankov, Commisar
Jules Munshin
as Bibinski
Joseph Buloff
as Ivanov
George Tobias
as Commissar Vassili Markovich
Wim Sonneveld
as Peter Ilyitch Boroff
as Dancer Vera
Ivan Triesault
as Russian Embassy Official
Barrie Chase
as Dancer Gabrielle
Da Utti
as Dancer
Tybee Afra
as Dancer
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Critic Reviews for Silk Stockings

All Critics (5)

The picture effectively marked Fred Astaire's retirement from dancing -- it was his last significant on-screen hoofing, and he's as sublime as ever. Yet it's co-star Cyd Charisse who dominates the picture.

Full Review… | July 30, 2016
Creative Loafing

Has a few sparkling moments that are irresistible.

Full Review… | March 8, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Mamoulian's swan song is one of his -- and Astaire's -- best.

May 20, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

July 7, 2005

Quote not available.

April 16, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Silk Stockings

One of Fred Astaire's best films. While it might be his work with Ginger Rogers that has entered the pantheon of film, It's his later pairings that I actually find more enjoyable, and this particular one is the best. Cyd Charisse is not only a fine dancer, but a great actress and comedienne. This is a great script and a great production that's out loud funny and greatly entertaining.

Vadim Dyment
Vadim Dyment

Surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. A very sexy movie (and musical) for the mid '50s. Cyd Charisse was very beautiful, and it helped that the script was based on Ninotchka. Astaire is solid as usual, but it's Charisse who really shines in this.

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

This is a musical version of Ninotchka, and with a better cast, I enjoyed it. It's a lot funnier than the first movie too.

Aj V
Aj V

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