The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  6 September 1948 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 18,997 users  
Reviews: 132 user | 129 critic

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 »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marius Goring ...
Jean Short ...
Gordon Littmann ...
Julia Lang ...
A Balletomane
Bill Shine ...
Her Mate
Léonide Massine ...
Ljubov (as Leonide Massine)
Anton Walbrook ...
Austin Trevor ...
Prof. Palmer
Eric Berry ...
Irene Browne ...
Lady Neston
Irina Boronskaja (as Ludmilla Tcherina)
Jerry Verno ...
Stage-Door Keeper
Ivan Boleslawsky


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | Music | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

6 September 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Las zapatillas rojas  »

Box Office


£500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The exterior of The Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate was shown in the rain because Michael Powell had often gone there to see plays or the ballet and he reminisced "it always seemed to be raining when one queued up for Madame Rambert's productions". See more »


When Vicky begins to dance with the "newspaper" character, only the words "Le Journal" are typed across his face. Partway through the dance his face is covered with newsprint. 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 »


Referenced in Hollywood Uncensored (1987) See more »


La Boutique Fantasque
Music by Ottorino Respighi
based on the music of Gioachino Rossini
Arranged by Malcolm Sargent
Played by uncredited symphony orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Powell and Pressburger's ballet fairytale
16 November 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

`Why do you want to dance?' Anton Walbrook asks of Moira Shearer part way through Powell and Pressburger's inventive ballet film. `Why do you want to live?' is her cool response. Suggested by the Hans Christian Andersen story and a project long in development by P&P, this sumptuous colour production allows Shearer to display her excellent ballet skills alongside Robert Helpmann and Leonide Massine, and all three are excellent.

In fact, the `Red Shoes Ballet' alone is enough to recommend this movie in the strongest terms. Also in the cast is P&P regular Marius Goring, as the composer pushed aside for the lure of the stage. Walbrook, as the emotionless impresario who is only alive within the confines of his art, is superb, and perhaps only his role as Theo in `Colonel Blimp' served him better.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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