Little Ballerina, The

271. THE LITTLE BALLERINA (1947-England). With MARGOT FONTEYN, TONY (ANTHONY) NEWLEY, MARTITA HUNT, YVONNE MARSH. Heart-warming drama about a girl’s struggle for success in the glamorous world Of ballet. The “little ballerina,’ an energetic and ambitious fourteen-year-old named Joan, longs to follow in the toe steps Of her idol, the magnificent Margot Fonteyn, Having strong faith in her future, Joan’s mother sends her to ballet school, even though the family has barely enough money for rent. The big moment arrives when Miss Fonteyn visits the school to discover new talent. But Joan, late for the audition, becomes nervous and fails miserably. Down but definitely not defeated, Joan works diligently at making a comeback, and eventually is selected as the lead in a children’s ballet. Further complications: on the night Of the gala performance, Joan’s envious understudy locks her up in a deserted building. The show is about to begin; Joan’s family eagerly anticipates her moment Of glory; Margot Fonteyn herself is in the audience. Can our heroine escape in time? In addition to a suspenseful, last-minute-rescue climax, this lively movie features dancing by Fonteyn in ‘Les Sylphides,” fascinating details Of ballet lessons, and light comedy involving Joan’s cantankerous grandfather (an eccentric inventor) and her spunky young brother (played by Anthony Newley), who, to raise money for Joan’s lessons, organizes a junk businessÑwith almost catastrophic results! The credits correctly call this “a children’s entertainment film,” but its also a charming, inspiring story for people Of all ages. 62 minutes. Ballet Drama