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.
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