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The Red Shoes
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The Red Shoes (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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The Red Shoes -- Three Reasons Criterion Trailer for The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes -- Open-ended Trailer from Eagle Lion

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   16,654 votes »
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Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale)
Emeric Pressburger (original screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Red Shoes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 September 1948 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Dance she did, and dance she must - between her two loves See more »
Plot:
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Duel for Art: a Hero *for* our Time See more (125 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Marius Goring ... Julian Craster
Jean Short ... Terry
Gordon Littmann ... Ike
Julia Lang ... A Balletomane
Bill Shine ... Her Mate
Léonide Massine ... Ljubov (as Leonide Massine)
Anton Walbrook ... Boris Lermontov
Austin Trevor ... Prof. Palmer

Esmond Knight ... Livy
Eric Berry ... Dimitri
Irene Browne ... Lady Neston

Moira Shearer ... Victoria Page
Ludmilla Tchérina ... Boronskaja (as Ludmilla Tcherina)
Jerry Verno ... Stage-Door Keeper

Robert Helpmann ... Ivan Boleslawsky
Albert Bassermann ... Ratov (as Albert Basserman)
Derek Elphinstone ... Lord Oldham
Marie Rambert ... Madame Rambert (as Madame Rambert)
Joy Rawlins ... Gwladys - Vicky's friend
Marcel Poncin ... M. Boudin
Michel Bazalgette ... M. Rideaut
Yvonne Andre ... Vicky's Dresser
Hay Petrie ... Boisson
Alan Carter ... Solo Dancer
Joan Harris ... Solo Dancer
Joan Sheldon ... Dancer
Paula Dunning ... Dancer
Brian Ashbridge ... Dancer
Denis Carey ... Dancer
Lynne Dorval ... Dancer
Helen Ffrance ... Dancer
Robert Dorning ... Dancer
Eddie Gaillard ... Dancer
Paul Hammond ... Dancer
Tommy Linden ... Dancer
Trisha Linova ... Dancer
Anna Marinova ... Dancer
Guy Massey ... Dancer
John Regan ... Dancer
Peggy Sager ... Dancer
Ruth Sendler ... Dancer
Hilda Gaunt ... Accompanist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neville Astor ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Edmond Audran ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Mark Baring ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Peter Bayliss ... Evans - Lord Oldham's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Michael Bayston ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Leonard Boucher ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Anne Byatt ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Joy Camden ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Jack Carter ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Michelle de Lys ... Lady in Vicky's Dressing Room Before Premiere (uncredited)
Peter Fisk ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Gladys Forrester ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Donato Forte ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Richard George ... Doorman (uncredited)
Greta Grayson ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Audrey Harman ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Pamela Harrington ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Jean Hébey ... Parisian Taxi Driver at Opera Square (uncredited)
Suzanne Jemmett ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Barry Klare ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Joan Lehman ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Joyce Linden ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Charles Lisner ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Graham MacCormack ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Enid Martin ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Denise Merrum ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Helene Mladova ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Patricia Norman ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Yvonne Olena ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Collin Patrick ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Philippe Perrottet ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Emeric Pressburger ... Man Waiting on Station Platform (uncredited)
Jackie Smithers ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Saxon Stobart ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Margaret Tate ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Meta Thomas ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
John Tore ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Gladys Walton ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Elizabeth West ... Lermontov's Secretary (uncredited)
George Woodbridge ... Doorman - Covent Garden (uncredited)
Anne Woolliams ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Marnia Zarina ... Corps de Ballet (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Powell 
Emeric Pressburger 
 
Writing credits
Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale)

Emeric Pressburger (original screenplay)

Keith Winter (additional dialogue)

Michael Powell (written by) and
Emeric Pressburger (written by)

Produced by
George R. Busby .... assistant producer
Michael Powell .... producer
Emeric Pressburger .... producer
 
Original Music by
Brian Easdale 
 
Cinematography by
Jack Cardiff (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Reginald Mills 
 
Production Design by
Hein Heckroth 
 
Art Direction by
Arthur Lawson 
 
Costume Design by
Hein Heckroth (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
George Blackler .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Eric Carter .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Ernest Gasser .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sydney Streeter .... assistant director (as Sydney S. Streeter)
J.M. Gibson .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Laurie Knight .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Kenneth K. Rick .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Alfred Roberts .... scenic artist
Bernard Goodwin .... draughtsman (uncredited)
G. Heavens .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Don Picton .... draughtsman (uncredited)
V. Shaw .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Elven Webb .... assistant art director (uncredited)
V.B. Wilkins .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Alan Withy .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gordon K. McCallum .... dubbing (as Gordon MacCullum)
Charles Poulton .... sound
Al Burton .... boom operator (uncredited)
Peter Davies .... first assistant dubbing mixer (uncredited)
Desmond Dew .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Leonard Trumm .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
George Gunn .... composite photography: Technicolor (as F. George Gunn)
E. Hague .... composite photography: Technicolor
Ivor Beddoes .... special painting (uncredited)
Les Bowie .... matte artist (uncredited)
Judy Jordan .... matte artist (uncredited)
Joseph Nathanson .... special painting (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Christopher Challis .... camera
George Cannon .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bob Kindred .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Cornel Lucas .... special still photographer (uncredited)
George Minassian .... focus puller (uncredited)
John Morgan .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Alistair Phillips .... assistant still photographer (uncredited)
Bill Wall .... chief electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carven .... dresses: Mlle. Tcherina (as Carven of Paris)
Dorothy Edwards .... wardrobe
Jacques Fath .... dresses: Miss Shearer (as Jacques Fath of Paris)
Mattli .... dresses: Miss Shearer (as Mattli of London)
Dorothy Edwards .... dresses: Miss Tcherina (uncredited)
Elsie Withers .... head of wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Noreen Ackland .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Anne V. Coates .... second editor (uncredited)
Tony Haynes .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Laurie Knight .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ted Drake .... music recordist
Brian Easdale .... conductor
Brian Easdale .... music arranger
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra .... music played by
 
Other crew
Joan Bridge .... associate colour control
Alan Carter .... assistant maitre de ballet: The Ballet of The Red Shoes
Joan Harris .... assistant maitresse de ballet: The Ballet of The Red Shoes
Robert Helpmann .... choreographer: The Ballet of The Red Shoes
Natalie Kalmus .... colour control
Léonide Massine .... (the part of the Shoemaker created and danced by ) (as Leonide Massine)
Doreen North .... continuity
J. Arthur Rank .... presenter
John Seabourne Jr. .... liaison editor
Joanna Busby .... assistant continuity (uncredited)
Gwladys Jenks .... production assistant (uncredited)
Vivienne Knight .... publicist (uncredited)
Marjorie Mein .... production secretary (uncredited)
Terence Morgan II .... mask maker: monsters (uncredited)
Comer Peter .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
133 min | Japan:136 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:S | Iceland:L | Ireland:G | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1948) | Portugal:M/6 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | UK:U (re-issue) (2009) | UK:U (re-issue) (1960) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When people complained to Hein Heckroth about the grim ending, he pointed out to them that in Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale, the ballerina had her feet hacked off by a woodsman to stop her dancing.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The length of Julian's cigarette changes dramatically (gets longer and then gets much shorter than he could smoke it down to in the short time between shots) while he's playing the piano for Vicky in Lermontov's office.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Whatever Lola Wants (2007)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Ballet of The Red ShoesSee more »

FAQ

Does Vicky actually die in the end?
Why was Vicky wearing the red shoes BEFORE the ballet started?
What really drove Vicky to jump...the red shoes, Julian, or Lemontov?
See more »
117 out of 129 people found the following review useful.
A Duel for Art: a Hero *for* our Time, 24 January 2004

Art as vocation; art as religion; art as the purpose of life: The Archers team of Powell and Pressburger aimed high with 'The Red Shoes' - and scored a bull's-eye. The film is a feast for the senses: cinematography (by Archers regular Jack Cardiff), music, acting and ballet are combined to make a magnificent whole. Emeric Pressburger's story appears simple at first glance, but is a challenging study of the value and purpose of art, and of aestheticism as a creed (a term not used lightly). It is given life by some of the most talented dancers of the era: Leonid Myasin/Massine as lovable Grisha; Ludmilla Tchérina as glamorous, flighty Irina; Robert Helpmann - who choreographed the title ballet - as Ivan; Marie Rambert as herself, and Moira Shearer (Ashton's 'Cinderella') highly appealing as the heroine Vicky. The non-dancing cast is led by Archers regulars Anton Walbrook (magnificent - why no Oscar?) and Marius Goring (so convincing I ended up wanting to slap him).

The plot combines Andersen's fable, 'The Red Shoes' with elements of Dyagilev's relationships with Nizhinskii and Myasin, and the effect of the younger men's marriages. Dancer Vicky Page (Shearer) and composer Julian Craster (Goring) are taken up and encouraged by ballet impresario Boris Lermontov (Walbrook).

Boris is the film's dominant character, an obvious portrait of Sergei Pavlovich Dyagilev (1872-1929), one of 20C culture's greatest figures, the driving force of 'Mir Iskusstva' and the 'Ballets Russes'. However, his Scots-Russian surname alludes to Mikhail Yur'evich Lermontov (1814-41), poet and author of 'A Hero of Our Time', Pushkin's successor as the voice of Russian Romanticism. Boris is an aesthete and perfectionist, a true believer in the religion of art. All his passions and energies are channelled into bringing out the best in the company that is his 'family'. He demands equal dedication from his protégés. He believes that if you have an outstanding talent, your primary duty is to give that talent its fullest expression, not fritter it away through mundane distractions and dalliances. Human relationships are transitory: what matters is the art. It is a stern, unsentimental creed, but a noble one.

Vicky and Julian begin an affair during the creation of the new ballet, 'The Red Shoes' (which we see in full, and has, in its sacrificial death-by-dancing, echoes of Stravinskii's 'Sacre du Printemps', choreographed by Nizhinskii for Dyagilev). Their love tests their commitment to Lermontov's ethic. What makes the conflict interesting and effective is that it is not trivialised as sexual rivalry: Boris is discreetly signalled as gay, like Dyagilev - something reinforced by the casting of Walbrook. (It is unnecessary to highlight the courage, in 1948, of placing centre-stage a dignified, powerful, non-caricatured gay character, played by a gay actor who had escaped Nazi persecution.) The struggle is between real Romanticism - hence Boris's sharing his name with the Byronic poet - and mere 'romance'. But the brutal climax, bringing together Andersen's story with suitably Russian overtones of 'Anna Karenina', is an evasion of decision: a character choosing death rather than commitment one way or the other. The final scene combines tragic lyricism with awareness of the unnecessary waste: and the dance, of course, goes on.

My understanding of and relationship with 'The Red Shoes' has changed and deepened with time. In girlhood, I was inclined to be relatively indulgent to Vicky and Julian. In middle age, they seem plain self-indulgent. Julian, frankly, isn't worth any sacrifice. Ballet is a "second-rate form of expression", he says in a quarrel with Boris - who, of course, launched his career. (If Boris had punched *him* instead of the mirror, how I'd have cheered!) He regards Vicky as a muse for his own fulfilment as a composer, while she frets with frustration, her pointe shoes in a drawer, her own artistic fulfilment denied. Their separate beds after marriage seem a revealing insight, not merely '40s film censorship. On the spectrum of fictional obnoxiousness, Julian's not far behind Angel Clare in 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'. Boris's manipulations are actually *less* selfish - directed towards enabling Vicky to express *her* creativity to the maximum - not bury her talent in a drawer.

Yes - Boris's passionately held vocation and values now evoke my strongest sympathies and recognition/identification as a fellow 'true believer' in art (and long-time Dyagilev-ite). Young sentimentalists may hate him (he knows "adolescent nonsense" when he hears it!), but he speaks hard truths and much wisdom. Personal relationships are fragile; a dancer's active career can be short. If you have a gift, service to it must come first: it is a sacred duty. Domesticity can wait. Yes, he is autocratic, temperamental: prophets and visionaries usually are. And what is his job? To unite other exceptionally gifted people from diverse disciplines - painting, costume, music, dance - with *their* competing egos and artistic temperaments, to create the multifaceted art of ballet. Herding cats is easier! And yet he is capable of generosity and forgiveness, as with the prodigal Irina. A complex, moving, genuinely heroic figure, 'The Red Shoes' is more his film than Vicky and Julian's.

But what went wrong with British film? The Archers made 'The Red Shoes' in 1948; now we have vacuous romantic-comedy/chick-flick pap or drab kitchen-sinkers that might as well be TV soap episodes, betokening a loss of cultural and intellectual confidence. (In visual flair, has The Archers' torch passed to Baz Luhrmann? Time will tell!) The present cultural climate treats the arts as an optional add-on to civilisation, rather than a defining part of what it means to be civilised. The arts are constantly called upon to justify their existence in commercial or social engineering terms, not for their intrinsic worth. A film, then, in which the most compelling character advocates Art for Art's Sake - art as a sacred calling - flings a gauntlet in the face of a market-driven, anti-intellectual, anti-beauty, utilitarian society. Sergei Pavlovich/Boris Lermontov, where are you now we need you?!!!

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