The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes

DVD - 1999
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Centers on the dilemma of a young ballerina torn between the composer who loves her and the impresario determined to fashion her into a great dancer

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Surely one of the best ballet movies ever made! The aristocratic English accents of the ballerina (Victoria Page) and her aunt grate a little, but her dancing and acting are superb. Filmed in England, Paris, and Monte Carlo, the camera work is excellent. To think that a movie made in 1948 could be so sophisticated!

plotline Jun 25, 2016

On Point, Brilliantly
"Put on the red shoes, Vicky...and dance for us again."- Boris Lermontov to Victoria Page in THE RED SHOES.
You don't even need to like ballet to appreciate this cinematic jewel from Powell and Pressburger. This is one of those films where the central dramatic conflict can be understood by anyone with a demanding private life and an equally demanding professional life. How much time and energy can you give to each? Can you really give to each? Must you ignore or abandon one for the other? What will such a struggle do to you?
With entrancing artistry the filmmakers devise a vibrant world of creativity in which the absorbing characters play out their destinies. No mistake, this is a character-driven tale wherein a beautiful, rising ballerina, already in love with her muse, is smitten, gradually, by the neophyte composer/conductor she meets in a ballet company.
Presiding over the lives of these two and the others in the ballet company like an angry, uncompromising deity is the cool, cruel sophistication and intellect of the company's director, Lermontov. Lermontov, the organizing genius; Lermontov, the all-knowing; Lermontov, the unsentimental. Or is he?
The film's use of color is thrilling, gorgeous.
For the most part the actors are magnificent. Moira Shearer is a bit cautious in her dramatic scenes but she becomes an almost unearthly thing of beauty when dancing. Marius Goring as the young composer is witty and brooding.
The role of Lermontov is critical and needed an actor of exceptional power and magnetism. Anton Walbrook sinks into the role with such passion that it is hard to imagine anyone else in the part. He is exceptional.
Often cited as the most beautiful ballet film ever, THE RED SHOES is one of the most beautiful films of any kind, ever.

a
annie8cakes
Jun 17, 2016

Powell and Pressberger are magic.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Nov 08, 2015

Despite its age, and thanks to the restoration work, this film is just beautiful to look at. I have never been a big fan of ballet but love every dance routine in this film. A timeless gem!

t
ThomasJWhiting
Apr 28, 2015

What a treat to see this fabulous vintage 1948 movie which I had previously never heard of. Great dancing. acting, romance, etc.

n
Nursebob
Dec 17, 2014

Powell and Pressburger’s glorious technicolour epic based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a vain young girl forced to dance by a pair of enchanted shoes, is both a heartfelt homage to the world of theatre and a stunning allegory on the suffering of the artist. Wealthy debutante Victoria Page dreams of being a professional dancer to the exclusion of all else. When the world renowned ballet impresario Boris Lermontov shows up at one of her aunt’s society parties Victoria immediately sets out to impress the coldly aloof maestro with her skill, eventually becoming his star performer. He even commissions an entire ballet, ironically based on Anderson’s short story, to be written just for her; a role which promises to cement her reputation as the world’s foremost prima ballerina. But, unbeknownst to Vicky, Lermontov’s feelings go much deeper than those of a benevolent benefactor, feelings which are dashed when she falls in love with Julian Craster, the company’s idealistic resident composer who wrote the score for her trademark ballet. Torn between the domestic contentment offered by Julian and her dedication to the stage, here embodied by Lermontov’s icy determination, Victoria finds herself forced to make a painful decision on the eve of her greatest performance. With its gorgeous sets and breathtaking cinematography that stretches from London’s Covent Garden to the cliffs of Monte Carlo, The Red Shoes is a bold departure from the run of stuffy dramas being produced in the UK at the time. The lovely redheaded Moira Shearer breathes life into the role of Vicky, her classic good looks and theatrical presence combined with her consummate skill as a professionally trained dancer set the screen on fire. The film’s highlight, a beautifully expressionistic performance of the titular ballet, is surely one of the most amazing dance sequences ever filmed. For all its melodrama and occasional excesses this still stands as a fine example of pure movie magic. Brilliant!

a
akirakato
Dec 02, 2014

This is a 1948 British film about a ballet dancer, written, directed and produced by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
It is about a young ballerina who joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called "The Red Shoes."
Although loosely based on the Andersen story of the same name, it was also said to have been inspired by the real-life meeting of Sergei Diaghilev with the British ballerina Diana Gould.
Diaghilev asked her to join his company, but he died before she could do so.
Diana Gould later became the second wife of Yehudi Menuhin.
It is a really grippinig and fascinating movie with a shocking incident toward the end.

rufusred Nov 16, 2014

This is likely the first film to show the backstage life of a ballet company. Though more a visual film than a realistic depiction, it's a classic and a must see for anyone who's a fan of old school film, musicals and of course, dance.

NewYorkViews Nov 14, 2014

This original The Red Shoes film has quite potential for a remake, and I have not seen the remake of it yet. This classic has three main characters--a young female dancer/ballerina (actress Moira Shearer) and a young male composer (actor Marius Goring), both working for the same boss (actor Anton Walbrook) who gives them an opportunity and later turns into a monster. The Red Shoes music score could have been better--it is a bit aggravating, even though it is suppose to reveal the endless dancing of the red ballerina shoes. The ballerina's dancing in The Red Shoes scenery could have been more multicultural--going through Asia, Latin America, etc., it seemed that the only exotic place was Australia's dream world land of the aborigines that she danced through, though this may have been unintended. Overall, it is a most excellent story based on a Hans C. Anderson tale. Several remakes could be made of The Red Shoes.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Aug 08, 2014

Dance. Dance. Dance.... Twirl. Twirl. Twirl.... Tippy-Toe. Tippy-Toe. Tippy-Toe.

Yeah-Yeah-Yeah. I know that 1948's 'The Red Shoes' was "just-a-movie", but, all the same, I'd still boldly go so far as to say that lurking behind its enticing, Technicolor facade lay something of a dire warning...... (Spoilers Ahead!)

And (like a flashing red light) that warning was definitely cautioning all aspiring, starstruck, prima ballerinas to give up the ultimate thrill of a pirouette, and be prepared to quickly snag a husband and make do with that quiet, suburban home with the white picket-fence.

In other words, girls - "Ballet Can Kill You!" (seriously), as it did Vicky Page - So, like, get out while you can!

Believe me, once Vicky Page donned those infernal red shoes she (like a candle in the wind) was jinxed and dogged with more troubles than was Dorothy Gale (sporting the ruby slippers) in the Land of Oz.

Regardless of being quite a sumptuous production, I still found The Red Shoes (with all of its backstage dramas, catty jealousies and obsessive lunacy) to be something of a bore. It didn't help matters much that, at 134 minutes, its story seemed to drag on forever, and a day.

If you've already seen Darren Aronofsky's 2011 production of Black Swan (which didn't thrill me much either), then it couldn't be plainer than the nose on your face that his dreary, little movie was nothing more than a big, bloated rip-off of The Red Shoes.

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