The Red Shoes

Rated NR 133 minutes 1948

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Trilby-based ballet film (1948) has been the cult property of dance freaks for far too long. A look beneath its lushly romantic surface reveals a dark, complex sensibility, and that surface, rendered in the somber tones of British Technicolor, reflects a fantastically rich cinematic inventiveness. Moira Shearer is the ballerina who, following the outlines of a Hans Christian Andersen tale, trades her life for her art; Anton Walbrook, as her impresario, is perhaps the most forceful embodiment of the shaman figures–magical, outsized, sinister–who haunt Powell and Pressburger's work. The Red Shoes remains the best known of Powell and Pressburger's 18 features, yet it's only the tip of the iceberg–beneath it lies the most commanding body of work in the British cinema. With Marius Goring and Robert Helpmann.

Film Credits

Director: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Writer: Hans Andersen, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Keith Winter and Marius Goring

Producer: George Busby, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Cast: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Robert Helpmann, Leonide Massine, Albert Basserman, Ludmilla Tcherina and Esmond Knight

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