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The Red Shoes Details


Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's influential musical tragedy set the stage for the climactic dance ballets that became a staple of the Arthur Freed-MGM musicals (An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon) of the early 1950s. Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale forms the basis of this film about betrayal, love and art. The story begins as struggling composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring) attends a performance of the Lermontov Ballet Company and recognizes his own score in the production of "Hearts of Fire." Julian protests to ballet company director Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) about the unauthorized use of his music. Impressed by Julian's talent, Boris hires him to compose the score for his next ballet -- a dance version of "The Red Shoes." Boris also hires an attractive young dancer, Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), to perform in the ballet. When the lead ballerina announces that she plans to get married, Boris, in a pique over being abandoned, casts Victoria in the starring role. As Julian works on the score and Victoria struggles to perfect her dance technique, the two fall in love. When "The Red Shoes" ballet is premiered -- seen in a stunning and glorious fifteen-minute sequence -- it is a raging success and it makes Victoria a star. But when Boris learns that Julian and Victoria have fallen in love, Boris, who is secretly in love with Victoria, in a fit of rage forces Julian to leave the ballet company; Victoria leaves with him. Since Boris owns the rights to "The Red Shoes" ballet, he forbids Victoria to perform the dance and she becomes unemployable. Time passes and Julian and Victoria are now happily married. Julian's compositions have made him an international success. One day, with Victoria disembarking from a train in Paris, she meets Boris, who implores her to do one performance of "The Red Shoes" in Monaco. Victoria agrees as Julian cancels an engagement in London to travel to Monte Carlo in order to convince his wife not to perform the ballet. But Victoria goes on with the performance, with tragic results. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:September 6, 1948


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Arthur Lawson Best Color Art Direction 1948 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Emeric Pressburger Best British Film 1948 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Emeric Pressburger Best Story 1948 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Michael Powell Best British Film 1948 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Brian Easdale Best Original Score 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Brian Easdale Best Drama or Comedy Score 1948 Winner


Anton Walbrook
as Boris Lermontov
Marius Goring
as Julian Craster
Moira Shearer
as Victoria Page
Albert Basserman
as Sergei Ratov
Esmond Knight
as Livingstone 'Livy' Montagne
Derek Elphinstone
as Lord Oldham
Irene Browne
as Lady Neston
Austin Trevor
as Prof. Palmer
Jerry Verno
as Stagedoor Keeper
Hay Petrie
as Boisson
Bill Shine
as Her Mate
Jean Short
as Terry
Yvonne Andre
as Vicky's Dresser
Julia Lang
as A Balletomane
Joan Harris
as Solo Dancer
Robert Dorning
as Dancer
Gordon Littman
as Ike
George Woodbridge
as Doorman
Marcel Poncin
as M. Boudin
Emeric Pressburger


Emeric Pressburger
Michael Powell
Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
Keith Winter
Michael Powell
Jack Cardiff
Brian Easdale
Composer (Music Score)
Arthur Lawson
Art Director
Charles Poulton
Sound/Sound Designer
Christopher G. Challis
Camera Operator
Ernest Gasser