December 20, 2014

Films

The Red Shoes – 1948 | 136 mins | Drama, Romance | Colour

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Plot Synopsis

The Red Shoes

The centrepiece of this backstage drama from “the Archers” (writers/directors/producers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) is a performance of the ballet that lends the film its title, a tale of love and betrayal is all set within the famed Lermontov Ballet Company.

Vicky Page aspires to join the Lermontov Company, acknowledged to be the greatest team of ballet dancers in the world. Boris Lermontov is not interested-until he sees her dance. Then he realizes that she will become a great ballerina. An iron disciplinarian, he expects Vicky to dedicate herself completely to her art. For Vicky, that is a particularly harsh demand she is attracted by Julian Craster, the young composer who is another of Lermontov’s brilliant protégés. Julian has composed the music for The Red Shoes ballet, a version of the Hans Andersen fairy tale. In it, Vicky achieves stardom. The fantastic shoemaker gives her the magic shoes which impel her to keep on dancing ; she becomes more and more exhausted, until finally she dances to her death.

The performance of the new danseuse brings full recognition of her talent. But the unhappy theme of the ballet is borne out behind the stage. Vicky is irresistibly caught between love for Julian and devotion to the ballet. Lermontov, determined to fulfil her genius, is enraged by the human passion which distracts her. He bullies Vicky; he pleads with her. Unable to make the choice between Julian, whom she has married, and her career, Vicky, bewildered and despairing, deliberately brings her life to a premature end.

Production Team

Michael Powell: Director
Emeric Pressburger: Director
Arthur Lawson: Art Direction
Sydney Streeter: Asst Director
George R Busby: Asst Producer
Robert Helpmann: Choreography
Jack Cardiff: Cinematography
Dorothy Edwards: Costume Designer
Reginald Mills: Editing
Eric Carter: Makeup
Ernest Gasser: Makeup
Thomas Beecham: Music Direction
Brian Easdale: Music Score
Ted Drake: Music Score
Hein Heckroth: Production Design
Emeric Pressburger: Script
Michael Powell: Script
George McCallum: Sound
Charles Poulton: Sound

Cast

Albert Basserman: Sergei Ratov
Marius Goring: Julian Craster
Robert Helpmann: Ivan Boleslawsky
Esmond Knight: Livingstone \’Livy\’ Montagne
Leonid Massine: Grischa Ljubov
Moira Shearer: Victoria Page
Ludmilla Tcherina: Irina Boronskaja
Anton Walbrook: Boris Lermontov



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