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White Nights is a 1985 film starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skolimowski, Helen Mirren and Isabella Rossellini. It also contains early-career performances from Marc Sinden and French girlfriend Maryam d'Abo. Directed by Taylor Hackford, it was shot in Finlandmarker, Englandmarker, Scotlandmarker, Portugalmarker, and the Soviet Unionmarker.

The film is notable both for the dancing of Hines and Baryshnikov and for the Academy Award winning song "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie, as well as "Separate Lives" performed by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin and written by Stephen Bishop (also nominated).

Taylor Hackford met his future wife, Oscar Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, during the filming of White Nights. As a young woman, Mirren had vowed never to marry, but after 12 years together she and Hackford tied the knot on December 31, 1997 at Ardersier Parish Church near Invernessmarker, Scotlandmarker.[138605]

Plot

Hines plays an American tap dancer, Raymond Greenwood, who has defected to the Soviet Unionmarker. He encounters and befriends Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko, a Soviet ballet dancer played by Baryshnikov, who had previously defected in the other direction. Isabella Rossellini plays Darya, Greenwood’s wife, and Helen Mirren plays Galina Ivanova, a former ballerina who never left the Soviet Union and is an old flame of Rodchenko.

Greenwood and Rodchenko perform a cinematic pas de deux after a plane carrying the latter makes a forced landing in Siberiamarker and he is recognized. Both dancers are brought to Leningradmarker where the Soviets seek to exploit Rodchenko’s talent. After an initial period of racial and artistic friction, the two dancers (and defectors in opposite directions) become strong friends and Greenwood helps arrange an escape to the American consulate.

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