The Red Shoes


(out of 5)

The most beloved of all the films that Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger ever made is this beautiful tale inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s story. Probably one of the most gorgeous uses of colour ever made, it’s about a brilliant ballerina (, showing equally impressive skills as both actor and dancer) who becomes the muse of a theatrical impresario () and the love of his musical director (). When she is forced to choose between the two men, her love and her career, she finds herself faced with a choice too difficult to make and is led towards dire circumstances. The centrepiece of the film is a near-twenty minute ballet sequence, the first successful marriage of classical dance and film, one that is full of brilliant visual effects and endlessly creative images. The story lags quite a bit, it relies too heavily on archetypes and not individual characterizations, but there’s so much reward involved that you just can’t miss it.

The Archers

United Kingdom, 1948

Directed by Michael Powell

Screenplay by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, additional dialogue by , based on the fairy tale by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by Hein Heckroth

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1948

Golden Globe Awards 1948

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