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Danza lenta en la gran ciudad (1978) Online

Danza lenta en la gran ciudad (1978) Online
Original Title :
Slow Dancing in the Big City
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Musical / Romance
Year :
Directror :
John G. Avildsen
Cast :
Paul Sorvino,Anne Ditchburn,Nicolas Coster
Writer :
Barra Grant
Type :
Time :
1h 50min
Rating :
Danza lenta en la gran ciudad (1978) Online

An aging out of shape reporter falls for a pretty but seriously ill ballerina.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Sorvino Paul Sorvino - Lou Friedlander
Anne Ditchburn Anne Ditchburn - Sarah Gantz
Nicolas Coster Nicolas Coster - David Fillmore
Anita Dangler Anita Dangler - Franny
Thaao Penghlis Thaao Penghlis - Christopher
Linda Selman Linda Selman - Barbara Bass
Héctor Mercado Héctor Mercado - Roger Lucas (as Héctor Jaime Mercado)
Dick Carballo Dick Carballo - George Washington Monero
Jack Ramage Jack Ramage - Doctor Foster
Adam Gifford Adam Gifford - Marty Olivera (as G. Adam Gifford)
Brenda K. Starr Brenda K. Starr - Punk (as Brenda Joy Kaplan)
Daniel Faraldo Daniel Faraldo - T.C. Olivera
Michael Gorrin Michael Gorrin - Lester Edelman
Tara Mitton Tara Mitton - Diana
Matt Russo Matt Russo - Jeck Guffy

The character of reporter Lou Friedlander was inspired by writer and real life reporter Jimmy Breslin.

This was the first film that director 'John G Avildsen' directed after his Academy Award Best Picture winning Рокки (1976). Publicity for the picture described it as "Рокки (1976) on points" and "A female Рокки (1976)".

The movie has never been released on DVD or home-video.

Dustin Hoffman was interested in playing the role of Lou Friedlander but could only work on the film by way of his First Artists company.

The movie was filmed entirely on location in New York City.

Producer Michael Levee first became aware of this project when Levee was executive vice-president at Rastar. When Levee left Ray Stark's company, Levee was determined to make this film his first solo production.

To cast the role of ballerina Sarah Gantz, a months long casting call was conducted across the USA where around 400 dancers and actresses were tested. But none of these were successful and the deadline approached for the start of principal photography. Then on a tour by the National Ballet of Canada performing at New York's Opera House, dancer Anne Ditchburn was discovered. She was invited in to read and won the part.

Debut theatrical feature film of dancer-actress Anne Ditchburn.

The production shoot for this picture ran for eight weeks.

Second of two films that actor Paul Sorvino and director 'John G Avildsen' collaborated on. The first was Cry Uncle (1971) around seven years earlier.

The film's finale dance sequence was called "Visions of the Forest".

User reviews



I read with interest the only posted comments on this movie. The author of that comment set herself up as judge, jury, and executioner. She even suggested the movie be watched by film students so as to learn how not to make a movie. Don't you just love it? This is her OPINION. What about my opinion? I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Paul Sorvino does his usual excellent job of character acting and for Anne Ditchburn's first time out, she did a credible job. Who cares about what exactly her affliction is? The point is she continues on and fulfills her dream. Hey it's only a movie! Oh! maybe because there was not one 'F' word in the movie it didn't measure up to her standards of 'real life drama'. My suggestion, see the movie yourself, make up your own mind.


I saw this film years ago and it was John G. Avilsden's first film after ROCKY. I for one was blown away at the time and there is some great dancing in it and a good love story. Also, the soundtrack is awesome (I have the original on vinyl 33) and should be re-released on cd. Would also like to see the film released on dvd--alomg with Avilsden's other neglected work: THE FORMULA Brando/Scott. This was Paul Sorvino's finest hour on screen and I remember coming out of the cinema extremely moved--true, you may love this film or hate it-depends what kind of a soul you have. Slow Dancing never even turns up on Tv --What happened to this movie and are there any other fans of it out there?


I only saw this movie once as a teenager when we had "ON" pay television (before SelectTV, and then inevitably, cable). It was the last showing and I stayed up until 2 am to watch it.

Needless to say, after all these years it has stuck in my mind. I loved Paul Sorvino as the lonely, heart of gold newspaper guy and Anne Ditchburn as the vulnerable ballerina. In my minds eye I remember it as a quietly executed romantic film. This is one to watch on a rainy day curled up in a blanket with a cup of tea.

After my first and only viewing I had hoped to see it again, and waited patiently, looking for a listing in the TV guide week after week.

Unfortunately, after approximately 20 years I am still waiting. I sincerely wish that they would re-release this film again. Perfect for die hard romantics.


When you read about this film you wanna cringe. I have seen it countless times and yet I cringe myself! So what is the attraction here? I think that for me, it's the offbeatness of the romance. I find it super refreshing to have an oddball coupling between this NYC Jimmy-Breslin-like columnist and a down-on-her-luck (health-wise) ballerina. You feel embarrassed for Paul Sorvino at his unsubtle approach to wooing this woman. Like the guy in the bar who can't take a hint. He's a bit overweight (at least as a would-be suitor for a ballerina. Hope that doesn't sound unkind) and possibly a tad too old for her. Nice change of pace from Greek God wooing Super-model. The Bill Conti score has stuck in my head all these years later, which is a pretty good sign. However some of the acting is just dreadful. A subplot involving a young Puerto-Rican boy befriended by Sorvino's character is just hilariously bad. But the opening scene where Ditchburn is warming up to Carole King draws you right into this story. Good luck finding it. You'd think that Lifetime would be re-airing this or even WE, but I haven't seen it on in quite a few years.


This one gets better with each new look. Certainly one of Paul Sorvino's best roles. Outstanding music score which was also outstanding on sound track LP (so why no CD?). One the very early dolby stereo sound film releases. By the way, the original 35mm theatrical trailer for this is really GREAT!


It has been a long time since i have seen this movie. I thought the story line was very good and the dancing was also. It was a sad love story, story of illness and dancers strength and courage to follow their dreams. Paul Sorvino is a great actor and is good in everything i have seen him in, he has come a long way in his career since then.Hector Jaime Mercado who played Roger Lucas the dancer and I grew up together and I remember the dreams of a dancer first hand.To me this was a very good movie and cast. I would love to see it on T.V. again after all these years, I think people will enjoy to see it again also. Thank You for letting me put in my input on "Slow Dancing in the Big City"


This is a wonderful movie. I've only seen it twice, and I've been looking for it again for ever. I'd buy it if I could find it. While it's sad, it shows three things -- how much a man can love a woman, how hard some people want something and how hard people work to overcome their limitations.


It's gratifying that this movie has so many fans. As I remember it, it was a critical and financial disaster, but is still worth seeing. It has one of the greatest sets ever constructed for a movie......New York City. There's something about NY.that always adds to my enjoyment of a film shot there. It would make a good trivia party game to name all the films shot there. I'll start, "Prince of the City," "Raging Bull," "Malcolm X," "Mean Streets." Your turn. Paul Sorvino is always on the verge of super stardom but can't come up with the right vehicle, like Brando in "Streetcar", or Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon, but he's incapable of giving a bad performance. Several things about the film annoy me. Sorvino's character with his non stop manic babbling and joking can be a real turn off. But he did the role as written or directed, and I'm surprised this wasn't noticed during filming. Anita Dangler as the cloying Franny, is a bit too cloying, but she gives a good performance as the waitress who shares Sorvino's bed only when he needs a body there, and knows there is no hope for a future relationship. She also has a steady stream of meaningless babble that she knows will further alieanate him, but she can't help herself. He's probably the first man she's had that didn't use her for a punching bag, and spoken with a semblance of kindness to her. Anita Ditchburn who I'm told is a ballet star in Canada is a strange young lady. She plays the role with almost one expression...a constant pout. The plot is as phony as Hollywood can get. A reporter who wouldn't be caught dead at the ballet, falls in love with a dying ballerina. Are you kidding me!? An adorable little Puerto Rican kid is also in there somewhere. But guess what. I've seen it a few times and I still love the movie. Give it a viewing. You'll enjoy.


I saw this movie when it first came out (1978). It was a catastrophe -- critically and commercially -- at that time and time has not been kind to it. It's a mark of how badly it failed that it never was even released for VIDEO, let alone DVD, despite the director (John Avildson of "Rocky" fame), Paul Sorvino and some

other good character actors.

Sorvino plays a NYC journalist who seems roughly modeled on TV's Columbo --

he's scruffy, middle-aged and babbles on and on in a way that I think is meant to be eccentric and charming, but actually comes off as purely annoying. He's an "everyman" figure who falls in love with a seriously ill ballerina. I wonder where the concept of the ballerina as the supreme symbol of femininity comes from -- real life ballet dancers are ATHELETES, not simpering fashion models and

injury and disability go hand-in-hand with their art form -- but here it is handled in the lamest and most embarrassing way imaginable.

Anne Ditchburn (Sarah), a real life Canadian dancer who never acted before (or again and you can understand why) has the world's strangest medical condition -- it's something vaguely inexplicable that has to do with her...uh...groin. Or maybe more accurately her thigh muscles, I don't know. We aren't told much, but she's clearly in a lot of pain when she dances, and her dancing bizarrely

includes a lot of splits and arabesques and stuff where she wraps her thighs

around other dancers. So it hurts. She needs some kind of operation but then

she probably won't be able to dance -- not this thigh wrapping stuff anyways -- so she is soldering on through the pain.

That's about it for the plot. She insists on dancing in the "big performance" she is scheduled for, despite the pain, and along the way falls in love (very

improbably) with big, beefy, talkative Paul Sorvino. Now, I want to say that I generally LOVE off-beat romances with oddball characters ("Harold and Maude"

is about my favorite movie of all time) and that's probably why I went to see "Slow Dancing" originally.

But the concept just curls up and suffers a slow death in this badly written, badly directed and badly acted film. There is no chemistry at all between Sorvino and Ditchburn. He really does seem to old for her and the contrast between her tiny, fit body and his big paunchy one is just awkward and even grotesque. There are no actual sex scenes, but you can't help thinking in your mind what they would look like together and...it would be pretty gross.

The worst of it is that Sarah's medical condition (the...uh...groin problem) can't help but have sexual connotations, although none are mentioned, because the

exact part of her body affected would be directly involved in sexual intercourse. You keep thinking "hmmm...he's really a big guy, and she's a tiny little thing who can't open her legs..." and any hope that the movie will be seen as touching or moving or whatever without making you break into helpless laughter is totally lost.

Surely this can't have been the effect the director or screenwriters were going for -- the movie plays as if it's meant to be a quirky but deeply moving romance. Why oh why didn't they make her injury something less awkward, like arthritic knees or a foot injury (far more common amongst dancers and very believable)? Almost any other medical problem would have worked better here.

Like the video companies who had no interest in putting this film on tape, I am puzzled as to who the heck would ever want to view this. Maybe a die hard Paul Sorvino fan? I can't honestly recommend this to anybody else, unless you are a film student wanting a case study example of WHAT NOT TO DO when making

a movie....


I recognized the title, it stars Paul Sorvino, so it sounded intriguing when I saw it was on "Flix". I just finished watching it so I came here to see if other folks thought the movie was as bad as I thought it was.

Why is Paul Sorvino's character in love with this ballerina? He sees her and is instantly smitten--no matter how annoying she is, he can't help but love her all the more. Yeah, they were going for Jimmy Breslin--that was pretty obvious. I kept waiting for the story to make sense--to see a reason behind all the dreck--but I was sadly disappointed. I thought Paul Sorvino was attractive in a "husky" kind of way (that's the description given for Flix) and all the "I've seen the X-Rays" nonsense was over the top--"You could bleed to death", etc...."I....can't....walk".. "No--I want HIM to carry me out for my bow". I really don't understand why the film makers didn't see how bad it is/was. I think "The Turning Point" was out the year before so they saw an audience for "Ballet dancer as protagonist" type movies, but forgot that you really need a plausible storyline or, if you're doing a "character study", you need to make your characters three dimensional and believable. They failed miserably on both accounts. And I couldn't tell what type of accent the ballet dancer was trying to affect. At times it seemed slightly Russian, at times, slightly British--nothing consistent. I guess they figured that after Turning Point, all you had to do was get a pretty ballerina...women LOVE to watch pretty ballerina's in pain for their art, dying (maybe) and falling in love.