The Red Shoes | Chicago Reader

The Red Shoes

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.



  • Michael Powell
  • Emeric Pressburger


  • Moira Shearer
  • Anton Walbrook
  • Marius Goring
  • Robert Helpmann
  • Leonide Massine
  • Albert Basserman
  • Ludmilla Tcherina
  • Esmond Knight


  • Hans Andersen
  • Michael Powell
  • Emeric Pressburger
  • Keith Winter
  • Marius Goring


  • George Busby
  • Michael Powell
  • Emeric Pressburger

What others are saying

  • Reviews

    Showing 1-1 of 1

    Current Rating
    4.1 out of 5

    Add a review


    Select a star to rate.