Red Shoes

Red Shoes

4.2 25
Director: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

Cast: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring

     
 

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Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's influential musical tragedy set the stage for the climactic dance ballets that became a staple of the Arthur Freed-MGM musicals (An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon) of the early 1950s. Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale forms the basis of this film about betrayal, love andSee more details below

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Overview

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's influential musical tragedy set the stage for the climactic dance ballets that became a staple of the Arthur Freed-MGM musicals (An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon) of the early 1950s. Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale forms the basis of this film about betrayal, love and art. The story begins as struggling composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring) attends a performance of the Lermontov Ballet Company and recognizes his own score in the production of "Hearts of Fire." Julian protests to ballet company director Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) about the unauthorized use of his music. Impressed by Julian's talent, Boris hires him to compose the score for his next ballet -- a dance version of "The Red Shoes." Boris also hires an attractive young dancer, Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), to perform in the ballet. When the lead ballerina announces that she plans to get married, Boris, in a pique over being abandoned, casts Victoria in the starring role. As Julian works on the score and Victoria struggles to perfect her dance technique, the two fall in love. When "The Red Shoes" ballet is premiered -- seen in a stunning and glorious fifteen-minute sequence -- it is a raging success and it makes Victoria a star. But when Boris learns that Julian and Victoria have fallen in love, Boris, who is secretly in love with Victoria, in a fit of rage forces Julian to leave the ballet company; Victoria leaves with him. Since Boris owns the rights to "The Red Shoes" ballet, he forbids Victoria to perform the dance and she becomes unemployable. Time passes and Julian and Victoria are now happily married. Julian's compositions have made him an international success. One day, with Victoria disembarking from a train in Paris, she meets Boris, who implores her to do one performance of "The Red Shoes" in Monaco. Victoria agrees as Julian cancels an engagement in London to travel to Monte Carlo in order to convince his wife not to perform the ballet. But Victoria goes on with the performance, with tragic results.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Karen Backstein
Lush, romantic, and gorgeously photographed, this beloved 1947 classic captures the magic and movement of ballet more perfectly than any film made before or since. Based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale, the story follows aspiring ballerina Victoria Page (the dazzling Moira Shearer) as she pursues her heart's desire under the tutelage of charismatic and demanding impresario Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook). But when Vicki becomes romantically involved with composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring), she finds herself forced to choose between love and dance. And without dance, Vicki cannot live.… The high-water mark in the career of the great British writing and directing team of Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger, The Red Shoes won Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Art Direction. Filled with cameos and choreography by some of ballet's most illustrious names, it is a film that set thousands of little girls to dreaming of toe shoes and tutus.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1948 film The Red Shoes was, for nearly four decades, the most successful British movie ever released in America. Movies had used ballet as a subject before -- including a pair of Hollywood bombs, Spectre of the Rose, which had the virtue of being bizarre and humorous, and The Unfinished Dance, which was itself a remake of a pre-World War II French film called Ballerina -- but the public had mostly ignored them. The Red Shoes, by contrast, seemed to draw audiences into its spell, virtually one theater at a time. In New York, it played to sell-out crowds at a single theater in Manhattan for almost two years before going into wide release, by which time word of the film had spread sufficiently to make it a hit throughout the country. Powell described attending The Red Shoes as a ritual for middle-class mothers and their daughters, although it was sufficiently well-known by 1949 to rate an oblique mention in a Three Stooges short, "Some More of Samoa." The movie had started life as a proposed screenplay, written by Pressburger for Merle Oberon before World War II, which never saw production -- the intervening war and its aftermath led to a major change in its focus, from romantic melodrama to art. Powell and Pressburger sincerely believed that having spent four years dying in the name of freedom and liberty, the world was ready to see a movie that suggested it was now alright to die in the name of art. The public (outside of England, where critics panned the movie and it closed very quickly) responded in kind, in what was the first huge "art-house" success in postwar cinema.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/20/2010
UPC:
0715515059312
Source:
Criterion
Time:
2:14:00
Sales rank:
129

Special Features

Introductory restoration demonstration with Filmmaker Martin Scorsese ; Audio Commentary by Film Historian Ian Christie, featuring interviews with stars Marius Goring and Moira Shearer, Cinematographer Jack Cardiff, Composer Brian Easdale, and Scorsese; ; Audio Recording of Actor Jeremy Irons Reading Excerpts from Powell and Pressburger's Novelization of The Red Shoes; ; Profile of "The Red Shoes," a Documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team; ; Video Interview with Director Michael Powell's Widow, Editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, the film, and the Restoration; ; Collection of rare publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos; ; Gallery of items from Scorsese's personal collection of The Red Shoes memorabilia "The Red Shoes" Sketches, an animated film of Hein Heckroth's painted storyboards, with the Red Shoes ballet as an alternate angle; ; Audio Recording of Irons reading the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Red Shoes"; ; Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: a Booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein and a description of the restoration by UCLA film archivist Robert Gitt

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anton Walbrook Boris Lermontov
Marius Goring Julian Craster
Moira Shearer Victoria Page
Léonide Massine Grischa Ljubov
Albert Basserman Sergei Ratov
Robert Helpmann Ivan Boleslawsky
Esmond Knight Livingstone 'Livy' Montagne
Ludmilla Tcherina Irina Boronskaja
Derek Elphinstone Lord Oldham
Irene Browne Lady Neston
Austin Trevor Prof. Palmer
Eric Berry Dimitri
Gordon Littman Ike
Emeric Pressburger Actor
Michel Bazalgette M. Rideaut
Jerry Verno Stagedoor Keeper
Jean Short Terry
Julia Lang A Balletomane
Bill Shine Her Mate
Marcel Poncin M. Boudin
Yvonne Andre Vicky's Dresser
Hay Petrie Boisson
George Woodbridge Doorman
Denis Carey Dancer
Robert Dorning Dancer
Joan Harris Solo Dancer
Guy Massey Dancer

Technical Credits
Emeric Pressburger Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Michael Powell Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Thomas Beecham Musical Direction/Supervision
George R. Busby Producer
Jack Cardiff Cinematographer
Eric Carter Makeup
Christopher G. Challis Camera Operator
Brian Easdale Score Composer
Ernest Gasser Makeup
Hein Heckroth Art Director,Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Helpmann Choreography
Arthur Lawson Art Director
Gordon K. McCallum Sound/Sound Designer
Reginald Mills Editor
Charles Poulton Sound/Sound Designer
Sydney Streeter Asst. Director
Keith Winter Screenwriter

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