The Red Shoes
G135 min

Director: Michael PowellEmeric Pressburger Starring:Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moria Shearer, Ludmilla Tchérina, Léonide Massine Released:Fri 22 Dec 2023


In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s visually ravishing masterpiece, a young ballerina is torn between the demands of love and art. Like the heroine of Hans Christian Andersen’s source fairytale, whose magic shoes compel her to dance, Victoria Page – played by real-life ballerina Moira Shearer – finds herself driven to breaking point by obsessive Russian impresario Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) when she’s cast in his ballet The Red Shoes.

With its captivating behind-the-scenes insight into the creative process, and characters for whom art is more important than life itself, the film has proved an inspiration to filmmakers and dancers alike. For writer-directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, it represented a triumphant attempt to create a ‘composed film’ in which music – here by Brian Easdale – plays a more central role, demanding similar expressive intensity in every detail of design and performance. Fittingly, it won Oscars for both art direction and music.

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