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Red Shoes (Full Screen)

Anton Walbrook , Marius Goring , Emeric Pressburger , Michael Powell    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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The Red Shoes (Criterion) The Red Shoes (Criterion) 4.7 out of 5 stars (32)
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A glorious Technicolor epic that influenced generations of filmmakers, artists, and aspiring ballerinas, The Red Shoes intricately weaves backstage life with the thrill of performance. A young ballerina (Moira Shearer) is torn between two forces: the composer who loves her (Marius Goring), and the impresario determined to fashion her into a great dancer (Anton Walbrook). Criterion is proud to present The Red Shoes in its DVD premiere.


While Powell and Pressburger's classic adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes is a luscious film, this new Criterion treatment of the restored version gives us all a special reason to rewatch this dance nightmare yet again. With Martin Scorsese's explanation, on disc 1, of the huge task accomplished in its restoration, one not only marvels at how such a fine feature was allowed to accrue mold and scratches, but also at how lucky we are to have a clean Technicolor-like copy available to future viewers. Perhaps some of us are normally underwhelmed by studying cinematic restoration, but in this case the compare and contrast between old and new is astonishing.

Criterion's addition of an entire second disc of extras relating to The Red Shoes' conception, execution, and restoration gives the viewer a holistic glimpse into what is arguably the finest ballet film ever made. This second extras disc, including lengthy interviews with Thelma Schoonmaker Powell (Powell's widow and the film's editor) and audio commentary by Ian Christie, stars Julian Craster (Marius Goring) and Vicky Page (Moira Shearer), cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese, giving one the typical multifaceted view of conditions that made the film possible. A half-hour long documentary, also called "The Red Shoes" (2000), fleshes out further the history of adapting a short story into cinema that feels like theater. But the most unique gems here are the creation and restoration tales surrounding the movie's finest scene: the dance sequence in which Vicky is swept away by her charmed red slippers. "The Red Shoes Sketches," an animated film made from Hein Heckroth's painted storyboards, is a fascinating look at this ballet sequence, as it shows how closely the set design emulates the cartoonish, fantastical original conceits. Jeremy Irons's reading of the fairy tale over the film is also mesmerizing. The only corny inclusion in the extras is a slide show of Scorsese's collection of Red Shoes memorabilia. In all, Criterion's treatment of this film about passion turned obsession does well to mimic The Red Shoes thematically by studying the movie with an equally passionate stance. --Trinie Dalton --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a major first for the movies April 20 2004
By Ted
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film is well known and the first technicolor film about ballet. It is based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name. In this version, a ballerina with great potential is forced to make a decision between her promising career and her lover. The film has a famous 15 minute ballet sequence that has been adored throughout the ages.
The DVD includes the following special features.
A slide show of martin scorsese's collection of lobby cards related to the film.
Theatrical trailer
Slide show of publicity and production photos
series of paintings with alternate angle shot that has side by side comparisons between the ballet sequence with the storyboard paintings.
a partial Powell & Pressburger filmography with photos and clips of some of their films. (some of which were subsequently released by Criterion Collection
full length audio commentary
audio of Jeremy Irons reading the Andersen tale and excerpts of film novelization by Powell & Pressburger.
The films of Powell & Pressburger have been imitated many times by modern filmmakers and this isno exception.
a must for ballet enthusiasts and Criterion fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May or may not be what your looking for May 21 2003
By R. Nicholson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a DVD release of a movie that was originally filmed in 1948. "The Red Shoes" is about a ballet company owned by Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) He discovers a unknown composer, Julian Craster (Marius Goring), and a new leading ballerina, Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), to play the lead in a new ballet called "The Red Shoes". This is basically the oft repeated story of joyous success and love followed by separation and tragedy.

Whether you like this movie or not will depend on what you are looking for. If you wanted a show of some historical significance that was considered a ground-breaking achievement at its time, then this may be a show that you will really enjoy. To a movie-buff/collector this would probably be looked upon as an archival gem.

If, you are looking for great acting then I'd advise you to spend your money elsewhere. The plot is not bad, but, really, the acting by today's standards is mediocre at best, although there is some good dancing in this show by Ms. Shearer.

All in all, an expensive DVD. Not what I was looking for. I hope these comments will be useful to you if you are considering purchasing this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I think this movie really is in a league of its own. The story, ballet scenes, music, acting are all great. I've read some reviews regarding the quality of the picture. Criterion did a wonderful job restoring the picture. The picture quality is amazing and there aren't any scratches or dust particles that show up on the screen.

There's a little sticker shock, but definately worth it. And it includes a whole bunch of extras. The film really is a gem in my eyes, and I recommend it to film buffs everywhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect red Oct. 16 2010
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
The Russian ballet has come to town and due to circumstance; a student Julian Craster (Marius Goring) becomes a brilliant composer. An orphan Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) protected by a patron of the arts has an opportunity to become a great dancer. Neither the composer nor the dancer wants anything more. Together under the direction of the company owner Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook), they create the perfect ballet "The Red Shoes".

The story of the ballet is base on a story of Hans Christian Anderson. It is about a girl infatuated with a par of dancing shoes. She places them on her feet. Moreover, begins dancing. When she tires, the shoes insist on dancing g and do so through time until her demise. You will find that there is more depth to the story than just a real life reflection of Anderson's story.

The only requirement of the company owner is that everyone focuses on their career and not fall in love. When the ballerina and the composer do just that, it raises the ire of the company owner. He forms a scheme to what end?

This film is an Archer film and holds true to the quality and entertainment value. I suggest you watch the Criterion version. There is a 19194 voice over commentary, by film historian Ian Christie with interviews of Marius Goring, Moira shearer, Jack Cardiff, Brian Easdale, and Martin Scorsese.

There is also a voice over reading of the Powell and Pressburger novelization of "The Red Shoes".

The Criterion version did not clean up all the film scratches. If this hits Blu-ray, I hope they will leave in all the criterion extras but clean up the scratches.

A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire
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4.0 out of 5 stars If it sounds too good to be true ... Aug. 27 2004
By Emehjay
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First of all, I enjoy a good movie of any vintage but generally prefer the movies of yesterday ie from the classic silents to
the noirs, westerns and epics of the 40s, 50s and early 60s.
Engaging storylines, characters you can invest in emotionally & compotent direction are, in my humble opinion, elements found less and less in recent years.
The Archers clearly need no introduction to even the most casual of film buffs. I own and enjoy several other Powell/
Pressburger titles eg BLACK NARCISSUS, COLONEL BLIMP, etc. Recently purchased RED SHOES from Amazon Marketplace (I won't identify the seller) thinking I was getting a great deal on the
Criterion edition but instead received a no-name, no-label
Asian import version. Terrible transfer of both sound and picture. Would not read on one of my DVD players, froze after
one hour on a second one ... I finally got through the whole movie on a cheap player and a 14" screen. Would expect to find a disk of this quality in the $4.99 bin at our local Walmart.
With regards the movie, as others have written, not one of the
Archers' stonger efforts but the Red Shoes ballet sequence is
truly breathtaking ... I'll probably shell out the big bucks &
purchase the Criterion for this sequence alone.
Hope this saves somebody $23.49
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Restoration!
Short and sweet. The restoration work on this movie is simply astounding! It looks like it was made yesterday...only better... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Glenn M. Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price/delivery for great film
Can't complain about any part of the purchase, as it was the best price and arrived quickly and well-packed.
Published on Aug. 23 2010 by Sugith Varughese
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't ignore human nature
Amazon Reviewer "ploompy" notes, "...Look for Lermontov's great advice to Kraster when his intellectual & creative material is purloined by a professor. Read more
Published on July 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to Turner Classic Movies.....
I saw "The Red Shoes" tonight once more on TCM and my heart pounds each time I see it...The color, the acting, the art direction, the music. Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by D. J. Reep
5.0 out of 5 stars Powell And Pressburger's Greatest Film
Directors Powelland Pressburger collaborated in a number of films but The Red Shoes tops them all. This 1948 TechniColor movie has become a classic and lovers of the ballet fondly... Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by Rudy Avila
5.0 out of 5 stars A symphony of color.
I first saw this film when I was very very small, about the time I began studying ballet and it has stayed with me forever even after I left the ballet. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Genevieve S. Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Famous quote from this classic film
1. Look for Lermontov's great advice to Kraster when his intellectual & creative material is purloined by a professor. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by Longbright
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cinematic Ballet Masterpiece
The Red Shoes was inspired by the dark fairy tale of Hans Christian Anderson. Anderson's story involved a doomed heroine who puts on red shoes and dances against her will until she... Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Magic
How to explain magic? Some movies have it but most don't. When I first saw this film long ago at the Hamilton Theater on the South Side of Chicago, I felt its enchantment almost... Read more
Published on July 22 2003 by Robert Morris
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