Academy Awards 1948 -
Best Original Score: Brian Easdale
New York Times - 12/31/1993
"...Lush, beloved....Overripe appeal..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/17/1995
"...A treat from start to finish....Magical..." -- Rating: A+
USA Today - 03/21/1995
"...The most popular British film of its day launched an international ballet craze..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/31/2009
"[O]ne of the most exquisite color films ever made. Jack Cardiff's gorgeous three-strip Technicolor cinematography creates the kind of deep, vivid hues that will leave viewers literally gasping."
Wall Street Journal - 10/22/2010
"THE RED SHOES was shot in three-strip Technicolor, a process that's no longer used because of expense and technical complexity, but one that yielded some of the most spectacular images in cinema history."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/21/2011
"What makes the film a masterpiece is the team's wizardly craft and the startling use of color..."
This seminal dance film, created Powell and Pressburger, in which an impresario takes a ballerina under his wing, deftly combines interpretive dance with drama. This acclaimed adaption of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale results in a marked triumph of artistic collaboration and modernity. More than any other film, THE RED SHOES deals with the dangerous, magical process by which art is distilled from preparation and effort.
Powell and Pressburger, who called their unique creative partnership The Archers, were no strangers to controversy. Each film they made together aimed it's barb at complacency and tackled a new creative challenge. They intended for this story, of a ballerina's life backstage, to turn into a manifesto for the claims of art over mundane life. Through a young dancer's eyes, unforgettably played by Moira Shearer, we meet a young composer, played by Marius Goring, and we enter a ballet company under the leading dancer and choreographer Robert Helpmann. At the center of the company is the malevolent charming impresario Boris Lermontov. Lermontov lives through his creations. People and relationships are ruthlessly subordinated to a drive that inevitably reminds us of the drive to make films. Under the authoritarian rule this charismatic ballet impresario, his proteges realize the full promise of their talents, but at a price: utter devotion to their art and complete loyalty to Lermontov himself. Under his guidance, the young ballerina is poised for superstardom, but earns Lermontov's scorn when she falls in love with the composer of "The Red Shoes," the ballet Lermontov is staging to showcase her talents.