Over-the-hill ballerina Anderson is the doyenne
of a dance troupe in this backstage suspense film filled with famed cinema scribe Hecht's acerbic barbs and ripostes. Chekhov is the company's somewhat effeminate impresario whose tendency to petulance is fostered by the strange doings on and
off the stage. Kirov--a talented dancer making his screen debut--is somewhat deranged; the ballet "Spectre de la Rose" invokes strange images in his mind: "The rose has a thorn," he whispers to himself, wielding a wicked-looking knife. Kirov has already "thorned" a former wife prior to the
picture's opening. Young dancer Essen, believing Kirov to be cured of his affliction...