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The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music, Romance | 6 September 1948 (UK)
1:38 | Trailer

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A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.


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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Short ...
Gordon Littmann ...
Julia Lang ...
A Balletomane
Her Mate
Ljubov (as Leonide Massine)
Professor Palmer
Eric Berry ...
Irina Boronskaja (as Ludmilla Tcherina)
Jerry Verno ...
Stage-Door Keeper


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


Between her art ... and her dreams ... was her heart See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

6 September 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Las zapatillas rojas  »


Box Office


£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£13,336 (United Kingdom), 13 December 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(as Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Art Direction (Color). See more »


Just before Julian Craster begins to play the piano for the first time for Lermontov, the shadow of a boom mic can be scene moving into position, projected against the wall behind him. See more »


[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 »

Crazy Credits

The end of the film finishes with 'Finis' instead of 'The End'. See more »


Version of The Red Shoes (1983) See more »


Danse de la poupée
from "Coppelia"
Music by Léo Delibes
Played by uncredited symphony orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A true masterpiece
25 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

A great film speaks to each of us in a different way. To me this more than a colourful piece of escapist entertainment, this was a glimpse into a world of magnificent color, sumptious settings, French Haute Couture, the theatre, music, luxury hotels, elegant opera houses, chaffeured Rolls Royce cars, travel to the South of France - in short, everything that a child in the near bankrupt England in 1948 had never seen and could barely imagine.

I was fascinated not only by the glimpse of an elitist life, but of the time capsule which the film presented of a time and place that no longer exists as it was at that time. The views of London in 1948, are similar to watching "World War II in Color" on the history channel. When the ballet company travelled, they took the train. Rationing may still have existed back then, and travellers could not take money out of the country, except for a ridiculously inadequate amount; therefore, if you went abroad you had to know someone with whom you could stay. I also found myself wondering how they got the money to make a technicolour film in 1947, when they began filming.

Part of the film takes place in Monte Carlo, only 20 years after the heyday of the famous Ballet Russe. In fact the ballet company in the film is quite obviously based on the Diaghilev Company. Former member Leonid Massine has a major part in the film, and Marie Rambert has a cameo role.

This is also a ballet film for those who do not really care for ballet. The plot is simple - rising young ballerina falls in love with rising young composer and must choose between him and a career possessively controlled by the impressario - and acts as a frame for the ballet. The film is as near perfection as it is possible to get, and watching it in 2004, it does not seem to have dated at all. Everyone, especially Anton Walbrook, is perfectly cast. The script is witty and occasionally humorous. The technicolour photography is superb, especially capturing Moira Shearer's flaming red hair.

The audio commentary on the DVD adds immensely to the enjoyment of the film, which is one that can be watched over and over. o understand how great this film really is, try watching Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" travesty afterwards.

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