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The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music, Musical | 6 September 1948 (UK)
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Writers:

(fairy tale), (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marius Goring ...
...
...
Ivan Boleslawsky
Léonide Massine ...
Ljubov (as Leonide Massine)
...
Irina Boronskaja (as Ludmilla Tcherina)
...
Livy
Jean Short ...
Terry
Gordon Littmann ...
Ike
Julia Lang ...
A Balletomane
Bill Shine ...
Her Mate
Austin Trevor ...
Prof. Palmer
Eric Berry ...
Dimitri
...
Lady Neston
...
Ratov (as Albert Basserman)
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Storyline

Under the authoritarian rule of charismatic ballet impressario Boris Lermontov, his proteges realize the full promise of their talents, but at a price: utter devotion to their art and complete loyalty to Lermontov himself. Under his near-obsessive guidance, young ballerina Victoria Page is poised for superstardom, but earns Lermontov's scorn when she falls in love with Julian Craster, composer of "The Red Shoes," the ballet Lermontov is staging to showcase her talents. Vicky leaves the company and marries Craster, but still finds herself torn between Lermontov's demands and those of her heart. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dance she did, and dance she must - between her two loves See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 September 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Las zapatillas rojas  »

Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Technicolor founders Herbert T. Kalmus and Natalie Kalmus considered this film the best example of Three-Strip Technicolor. During the filming, however, Natalie often complained that Jack Cardiff wasn't following the rules laid down for Technicolor films and demanded that they re-shoot various scenes. However, Michael Powell always backed up Cardiff and they got the film they wanted. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when Vicky is getting ready to go on stage for "The Red Shoes" once again, she's wearing the red dancing shoes as she hesitates. But that play starts with the white dancing shoes; only during the play does her character find the red shoes and put them on.

However, this is not an accidental goof. This is essential to the plot and the director wants us to overlook this detail so that all the symbolism of Vicky wearing those red shoes while "unable to stop dancing" can be fully explored. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[holding doors closed]
Doorman: They're going mad, sir. It's the students.
[From outside]
Julian Craster: Down with tyrants!
Manager, Covent Garden: All right, let them in.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Chorus Line (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Swan Lake
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played by an uncredited symphony orhestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Shall we dance?
21 June 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

We saw this film years ago. It was a surprise when it was included as part of a Michael Powell's work at the Walter Reade recently. The film still has a great look as it seems it has been lovingly restored. Mr. Powell, working with his usual collaborator, Emeric Pressburger, created a film about the world of ballet that has proved to be, not only a timeless classic, but a crowd pleaser to those who watch it for the first time.

"The Red Shoes" is basically a fairy tale loosely based on a Hans Christian Andersen story. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Pressburger gave it a vivid look that even today, appears fresh and glamorous. Those glorious colors in the film stays in the mind of the viewer forever.

The ballets shown are magnificently staged. The Red Shoes ballet by Sir Robert Helpmann and The Shoemaker by Leonide Massine, a giant in the world of ballet. The music conducted flawlessly by Sir Thomas Beecham lingers in one's mind long after the movie is over. The glorious Technicolor cinematography by Jack Cardiff is amazing.

The acting by Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring and Moira Shearer serves the story well, although the director got better performances in later films, "Peeping Tom" and "Black Narcisus", to name two. Ms. Shearer with her red hair and peaches and cream skin projects such a refined presence in the film that is hard to forget her features. The actress dressed by Jacques Fath, the famous French designer, shows why she was one of the best things that happened to the picture.

"The Red Shoes" is one of the best films about ballet thanks to the vision of its directors.


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