Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lost Footage

Ballet dancer/actress Ludmilla Tchérina appeared in SIGN OF THE PAGAN as Princess Pulcheria. In the film she has a dance sequence which has been removed from circulation since the film's release.

These photos are the only proof of her dance number.

So what happened exactly? No one seems to know but I once read somewhere that Ludmilla copyrighted the dance moves and wanted Universal International to pay her extra for it. Needless to say this didn't go down well with studio heads who ordered all traces of the dance sequence to be removed from prints and trailers. Is this the real reason? I don't know. I have the German DVD of this and the dance number is cut.

Did anyone see this film when it came out? And do you remember the dance? If so, just reply to this post.


Pal said...

It is good that this scene (very uncharacteristic to the Princess in the film) was edited out.

Paul BB said...

The film was shown on UK TV that had this 'lost' dance sequence, many years ago around 1990. I had a poor VHS copy of it but that is long gone. So I am not sure about the copywright issues. Would love a full copy of this underrated movie! If anyone has a copy, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Remember seeing the "infamous dance sequence" "way back in the day." Probably "disappeared" some time in the 1990's ."Sexy dance numbers" were cosidered "de riguer" in the era of the the swords and sandals epics of the 1950's -1960's. Since Ludmilla was a famous ballerina, I guess they thought it was a "no brainer" to have her do her thing under some dranmatic pretext. She was supposed to be a "passionate princess' and under no account was she going to do "Swan Lake" . So the reason for the cut remains a mystery. Anyway, I would rather have had Rita Gam do an alternative "pagan" dance number instead, but sadly that was not to be. Fortunately, neither Chandler nor Palance danced during the making of this motion picture -and no animals were harmed-that we know of!