Ballet is one of the most difficult and strenuous activities to perfect, and those who want to do it for their career must abide to a strict regiment of dieting and practice that renders life otherwise pointless. Of course this can provide quite the strain on a dancer's mental state, and cinema has always looked to take advantage of this mindset to create terrific characters and narratives. Here are five ballet movies that prove dancers are crazy.

"Black Swan".

Ah, Natalie Portman. So sweet, so innocent, so beautiful. Cinema aficionados have watched her grow through film, from her debut performance in "Leon" to the gut wrenching mediocrity of "The Phantom Menace". It was with great pleasure that we saw her finally land an Oscar for Darren Aronofsky's wonderful ballet epic, "Black Swan". To earn the award and accolades, she had to put her character through a horrific state of affairs, including slowly turning insane and making out with Mila Kunis, the latter being a dream come true for many of us.


Charlie Chaplin is regarded as the sultan of the silent era, yet towards the end of his career, he delved into the world of talkies with his Hitler satire, "The Great Dictator" being his most warmly regarded talking piece. However, his 1952 drama "Limelight" is also worth your time and effort. Claire Bloom plays Terry, a young ballerina who becomes Chaplin's  muse. Towards the end of the film, he suffers a heart attack back stage, yet she still continues to perform as he slowly perishes in the background. Should I have preempted that last sentence with a spoiler warning? I probably should have.

"The Red Shoes".

Powell and Pressburger are regarded as cinematic luminaries by a vast array of filmmakers. Scorsese and Woody Allen have both noted how influential the British duo has been on their work. The British filmmaking team's greatest moment came in the form of "The Red Shoes", which depicted the rise and fall of Moira Shearer's Vicky Page.

"The Tales Of Hoffmann".

After completing "The Red Shoes", Powell and Pressburger just couldn't keep away from ballet and unleashed a new lavish retelling of Jacques Offenbach's mesmeric opera. Moira Shearer returned as a ballet dancer named Stella who dances as her new lover, Hoffmann, tells three tales about his love.

"Billy Elliot".

Stephen Daldry's English ballet classic became a run away success in the late 1990s and helped to turn Jamie Bell into one of the most sought after actors of the new millennium. Billy himself doesn't turn crazy, but his father and brother definitely take one step closer to insanity because of his love for the forbidden dance.