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The Red Shoes

A movie directed by Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell

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a ballet masterpiece

  • Aug 4, 2001
THE RED SHOES is a classic of film-making. With a highly dramatic plot and an unforgettable score, it truly is a masterpiece.

Into the famous Lermontov Company comes young Victoria Page (Moira Shearer). A ballerina eager to master her craft. Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) is already aware of Vicky's talents, and soon Vicky is one of the principal artists in the company.

However, Vicky finds herself attracted to the young composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring), whom Lermontov has patronised. Soon Vicky finds herself caught between two loves - the simple human passion that has caught up Julian and herself, and the jealous ballet master Lermontov.

All of this comes to a head in the ballet "The Red Shoes". The story concerns a young girl who buys a pair of enchanted red shoes. The shoes cause her to dance and dance for eternity until she is driven to her death.

In life, and in the ballet, Vicky dances to her ultimate destruction...

With a beautiful ballet score by Brian Easdale, and stunning choreography by Sir Robert Helpmann, this is the "Holy Grail" of ballet films.

With Leonide Massine, Robert Helpmann, Albert Basserman, Ludmilla Tcherina and Esmond Knight.

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More The Red Shoes reviews
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     "The Red Shoes" means serious business. It's the first- and presumably best- film to depict the back-stage life of an obsessive dancer. We'd expect it to be pretty hypnotic, with its honorable Criterion Collection restoration courtesy of Martin Scorsese, as well as all the other praise it has garnered over the years. This film is the favorite of many; and for good reason. It is one of the many-but few- classics that have not decayed with age, and I don't …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #145
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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It's been said that this 1948 classic has been responsible for the ballet lessons of more young girls than any other film. It's not hard to understand why: Michael Powell and Emerich Pressburger's dark fairy tale presents the ballet as an exquisite, magical work of art; but under the theatrics and glory is an all-consuming lifestyle with the power to destroy those who love it perhaps too much. Moira Shearer practically glows as Victoria "Vicky" Page, a young woman consumed by a will to dance who is accepted into the highly prestigious ballet company run by perfectionist Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook). Meanwhile, a gifted young composer, Julian Craster (Marius Goring), is brought on board as an orchestra coach, and later conductor and composer of the ballet that will make Vicky's name:The Red Shoes, one of the most beautiful and dramatic dances ever captured on film. Professional and personal jealousies soon pull this creative team apart, however, and Vicky is torn between her love of Julian, her responsibility to Boris, and her need to dance. Powell and Pressburger recast Hans Christian Andersen's sad story as a modern romantic melodrama, highlighted by beautiful dances and shot, not as stage ballets, but rather as expressionist cinematic dramas on impossibly grand sets awash with bold color and beautifully captured in glorious Technicolor by cinematographer Jack Cardiff. It's a brilliant melding of dance and drama as Vicky's real life mirror's the tragic story she danced ...
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"a ballet masterpiece"
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