Soviet musical-comedy director Aleksandrov’s production values were first-rate, and The Shining Path makes sophisticated, surrealist-inflected use of matte work and rear projection. The movie is a straightforward Cinderella story, albeit one in which the “snub-nosed beauty” wins her engineer Prince Charming by shattering productivity records at the factory. Letters to the commissar notwithstanding, this fantasy wouldn’t be out of place on the Paramount backlot. Anyone who complained that the setting of Dancer in the Dark was no place for a musical hasn’t seen this.
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