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The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music, Romance | 6 September 1948 (UK)
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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 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Julian Craster
Jean Short ... Terry
Gordon Littmann ... Ike
Julia Lang ... A Balletomane
... Her Mate
... Ljubov (as Leonide Massine)
... Boris Lermontov
... Professor Palmer
... Livy
Eric Berry ... Dimitri
... Lady Neston
... Victoria Page
... Irina Boronskaja (as Ludmilla Tcherina)
Jerry Verno ... Stage-Door Keeper
... Ivan Boleslawsky
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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:

A Dancing, Singing, Swinging Love Tale See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross USA:

$10,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(as Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Aria
(uncredited)
Sung by Margherita Grandi
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the few films impossible to over-praise
20 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

The film isn't THAT closely related to Hans Christian Andersen's story; but it would be a good idea to read the story before seeing the film. It's one of Andersen's better stories, anyway.

Another minor note: if no other consideration will sway you, see `The Red Shoes' for a perceptive look the position of the ballet composer relative to that of the dancers. For Powell and Pressburger it's no more than a diverting side issue, but it's one of the things that especially interested me. If you look at advertisements for ballet productions today, you'll notice that the composer's name is NEVER printed - even if the ballet is called `Cinderella' and the public has no way of working out whose score is being used. It puts the composer in his place, no doubt. Yet musicians at the ballet are in the habit of thinking that they're the most important people there.

I'm on their side. I happen to loathe classical ballet as such. `Swan Lake' strikes me as a lovely score disfigured by people who insist on dancing to it. Yet `The Red Shoes' makes me put all of this aside. Indeed, it would be fair to say that I simply CAN'T dislike ballet while watching the film - which is especially odd, considering some of the things it does to people.

So, yes, if `The Red Shoes' can have this effect on ME, of all people, it's surely one of the best films ever made. I can't agree at all with the people who describe the film as `melodrama' or `camp'. (The latter charge I scarcely even understand.) The story is what it is and it's told at the most realistic and sincere level appropriate. The characters who act theatrically (NOT melodramatically) are all creatures of the theatre, and have not spent not just their days but their lives in Lermontov's troupe. If you want a more understated view of things then watch the musicians. To put in a word for one of them, Brian Easdale's source music is superb: GOOD music of a kind that an English composer like Craster might well be expected to write. It's clear that Easdale wrote Craster's compositions first, and then constructed the rest of the score around them, rather than vice versa.


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