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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Emeric Pressburger originally wrote the script in 1937 when producer Alexander Korda was casting around for a project for his wife, Merle Oberon. The intention was that a professional dancer would fill in for Oberon in the dancing scenes. Nothing ever came of it, mainly due to the intervention of the war, and Michael Powell and Pressburger were able to buy the rights for the screenplay back from Korda for £12,000 in 1947. To do this, however, they had to pretend that it was purely for sentimental reasons and not because they wanted to make it into a film. Having worked for Korda before, they both knew that he was a shrewd businessman and that, if he detected they really wanted the property, he would have raised the price. See more »
As Julian Craster walks to the theater, he is seen through an archway as a horse-drawn cart passes. Stepping into the street, he slips on what appears to be a piece of fruit, but doesn't fall, recovers, and continues walking. See more »
[holding doors closed]
They're going mad, sir. It's the students.
Down with tyrants!
Manager, Covent Garden:
All right, let them in.
See more »
The end of the film finishes with 'Finis' instead of 'The End'. See more »
A Very Creative Movie About Creative Artists At Work
The resourceful approach that characterizes so many of the Michael Powell/ Emeric Pressburger collaborations makes "The Red Shoes" one of the most creative and interesting of any of the "back stage" movies that show the lives and dreams of creative artists at work. The characters are quite interesting in themselves, and the story brings out some worthwhile aspects of each of their natures while giving a realistic and often fascinating look at their world.
By no means do you have to be a ballet fan to appreciate and enjoy the story or the settings. While fully convincing in themselves, they are also set up so that the most important aspects and conflicts of the plot could easily be applied to those working in other creative fields as well.
Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, and Marius Goring make a nicely balanced and intriguing trio of main characters. The opening scenes work very well in bringing them together while being enjoyable to watch in themselves. From there, the creative tensions are built up steadily as the story itself becomes even more interesting. The script makes use of the best conventions of its genre, while never allowing itself to become formulaic.
There is also a good deal of creativity in many of the individual sequences. The opening scene at the opera is particularly clever in playing off of a viewer's initial expectations. The most spectacular sequence is the "red shoes" ballet segment itself, a very imaginative and enjoyable mini-movie that also parallels some of the main story's most interesting ideas. All in all, "The Red Shoes" well deserves its reputation as a distinctive classic.
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