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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a major first for the movies
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...
Published on April 20 2004 by Ted

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May or may not be what your looking for
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...
Published on May 21 2003 by R. Nicholson


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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 "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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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1 of 1 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 - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars If it sounds too good to be true ..., Aug. 27 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Powell And Pressburger's Greatest Film, June 1 2004
By 
Rudy Avila "Saint Seiya" (Lennox, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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 look to this film for inspiration. Stars ballerina turned actress Moira Shearer as Victoria Page the tragic heroine who wears the fatal shoes, Antal Walbrook as the demanding and imperious manager/impresario Boris Lentmontov. The film is drawn from the Hans Christian Anderson tale, in which a young girl is given red shoes by a shop keep only to dance herself to death. The film never even borders on magic realism nor is over the top but maintains a subtle psychological drama that turns grotesque into a climatic and grim finale.
Moira Shearer's performance is Oscar worthy. Vicky Page learns from Lentmontov all the right stuff to be a dedicated dance artist. But the ballet is second in her heart when she falls in love with a young composer/conductor. Distracted by love, Lentmontov worries that he has lost his greatest star. The crisis is even greater because apparently, cold though he is, Lentmontov falls for Vicky himself. Anton Walbrook delivers a great performance as Lentmontov. He would later take on the role of King Ludwig of Bavaria in the French Max Ophuls film "Lola Montes". There is an extended ballet sequence, the original ballet "The Red Shoes" which makes use of magic animation and colorful backdrops. This film is genius and art. A great film to be shown in ballet history class or dance classes. This is also a caution film. Perhaps it's unwise to seek artistic perfection. It's ultimately Victoria Page's own fault for her tragedy. The Red Shoes is a metaphor. She became a slave to her art and it destroyed her. Her indecision cost her greatly. Which is greater ? Perfection in her ballet career or true love ? Torn by her love of ballet and her love for Julian, she meets a dire fate. This movie is incredible. All the scenes, dialogue are artistic composition. The film was shot in European locations, including London and Paris.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Cinematic Ballet Masterpiece, Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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 collapses and dies. This melodramatic tale is taken to 1940's London where Victoria Page (played by ballerina/actress Moira Sheer) meets with the perfectionist and successful impresario of a famous ballet company, Lentmontov. Victoria Page's rise to stardom is a must see for ballet fans. First in the corps de ballet (or chorus line) she meets with Lentmontov's approval and becomes an accomplished prima ballerina. The film is shot in various European locales- such as the Paris Opera in Paris where numerous ballets are performed, as well as the sunny coast of Monte Carlo. The rest of the film deals with Victoria's romance with the composer and orchestra conductor Julian. She is deeply in love with him, but torn between her desire for perfection in her own career (forced upon her by the demanding Lentmontov) and by her heart. Tragically, Victoria's fate is like the titular heroine in Anderson's fairy tale "The Red Shoes" and before our very eyes we are witness to her demise through dance. She literally dances to her death.
Highlights in the film include the various scenes from ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake and Coppelia, but this film is mot famous for the captivating original ballet "The Red Shoes". Amidst dizzying neon lights and foreboding landscapes, Victoria Page dances with the red shoes until she dies and a funeral procession breaks out. But this, in the context of the film, is merely a metaphor. The Red Shoes represent the ballet, and most directly, Victoria Page's situation. She loves the ballet but she does not want to give up her true love with Julian. According to Lentmontov, one cannot be distracted by love. All that matters is the ballet. Victoria's indecision ultimately costs her life. This film is well made, beautiful to look at and provides us with excellent melodrama. Moira Sheer has appeared in other Powell and Pressburger films such as their version of "Tales Of Hoffman" in early 1950's. Five stars and a must see for ballet fans or just cinema fans interested in classic masterpieces that are not as acknowledged.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Magic, July 22 2003
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
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 from the first scene until the tragic conclusion. Frankly, at that age, I really didn't fully understand (much less appreciate) what I had just seen but I knew it was something quite special. And so it remains decades later. To some extent based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's tales, this film examines the brief and tragic career of a young ballerina, Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), who becomes an international celebrity following her performance of The Red Shoes while a member of the Lermontov Ballet Company. Shearer's performance is most credible when she dances, of course, but at least adequate when delivering her lines. The strongest performances are those of Marius Goring (Craster) and Anton Walbrook (Lermontov) who portray men in love with the same woman. The plot is really insignificant to the music and especially to the dancing. I also enjoy the exterior shots in London and Paris in the late-1940s. For me, the 15-minute ballet sequence is among the most enjoyable audiovisual experiences on film and was perhaps an inspiration for the extended dream sequence in An American in Paris three years later.
One final comment. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the quality of other DVDs (sound/image quality and/or special features) but nonetheless share the disappointment of others with the production quality of this DVD. The glitches are minor but a distraction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historical Gem for Dancers, June 12 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
My general comment is that this is a grand and beautiful movie. It is very entertaining. There have been some wonderful dance sequences in the movies, but none have surpassed "The Red Shoes Ballet" within this movie.
The rest of this review is rather esoteric, and I apologize for that, but it may be useful to those interested in Dance.
This is a must-have for anyone interested in Ballet History. While it is not a true story, Boris Lermontov is clearly based on Serge Diaghilev, down to the funny white streak in his hair. Moira Shearer playes the lead ballerina Victoria Page. Shearer, of Sadler's Wells, exhibits her geniune and compelling technique. The Lermontov/Page relationship echos that of Diaghilev and Nijinsky or perhaps Mr. B. and his girls. The crazy genius choreographer and dancer Leonide Massine has a wonderful part, and there is a little cameo appearance of Marie Rambert in the Mercury Theatre. See this movie and watch for other interesting parallels and tidbits!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See For Ballet Fans, Sept. 4 2002
By 
Rudy Avila "Saint Seiya" (Lennox, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
The 1948 classic film starring Moira Shearer (herself a professional ballerina) is no only an enjoyable semi-realistic fantasy film, in much the same lines as say The Wizard Of Oz, but a brilliant film technically to look at. It's drawn from the dark fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson (responsible for such stories as The Little Mermaid), in which a young girl is forced to wear red shoes with a will of their own. The poor girl dances until she dies. The concept is taken to a late 40's England, where the aspiring ballerina Victoria Page seeks to dance in the prestigious company headed by the eccentric, perfectionist and intensely driven impresario Lentmontov. The story provides the audience with a glimpse of dance rehearsals, theatrical life both pre-performance and during, the charm of the glamourosu life ballerinas are said to enjoy. But in reality, it is a study on obscession, the demand for virtuouso performance and the conflict between love of one's career and romantic love. Victoria Page is herself doomed to dance to her death when she is torn between her duty to Lentmontov and her love for his musical composer and choreographer. This movie is excellent for ballet fans, and for stage magic fans- the Ballet of the Red Shoes is the most striking moment in the film, an original ballet set against surreal, nightmarish backgrounds of carnivals, ballrooms and ghostly netherworlds where neon lights change colors in blinding and dizzying speed and danced to jazzy 40's music. The film is sure to impress adults (I disagree that it is for children due to the drama of the whole thing), and it is marvelously shot in Paris, London and Monte Carlo. A film like this does'nt come often.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But a Couple of Problems, Feb. 7 2002
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
When it first came out, it was quite a phenomenon. I enjoyed it at that time and have seen it several times since in theaters and on TV. I don't think the production wears well. Those viewing it now will see hangovers from the practices of the stage and silent movies and early talkies, like exaggerated facial expressions and emotions, and continuous loud talking. I wouldn't use the word "hokey" but perhaps "dated." And there are things like, when we're supposedly watching "The Red Shoes" ballet live, there are unstageable cinematic special effects used (which are hokey). The story written to surround the Andersen tale is unsubtle and not particularly interesting. On the plus side, the dancing is good, and the depictions of the process of staging ballet (or anything) are more complete than usual, although the timing is unrealistic (e. g., a ballet -- while short -- in a couple of weeks). All the different functions needed and the interplay among them were done as well as I've seen in a movie.
The sound in this movie has been criticized by other reviewers, and I agree. Imagewise, the specks are not bad, but noticeable. The ones you see are white, which means they are opaque objects on the negative used for the digital scan. In the case notes Criterion makes a point of constructing this negative from the original Technicolor separations (three negatives superimposed through filters (red, green, and blue?) to construct the composite color negative). That means the master negative used is new, and should be clean. If the specks were on the Technicolor separates, they would show up as colored confetti. Another thing was that the overall color was obviously unsteady on my projection set, a phenomenon seen on many movies on TV. This probably comes about because of random variations in emulsion sensitivity along the Technicolor separate films. By 1947 this characteristic of photographic emulsions had not yet been conquered, although I don't remember noticing it on, for example, The Wizard of Oz. There are feasible ways to reduce this within the digital domain, but it would require some kind of manual or automatic frame-by-frame attention, maybe not deemed worth it for this particular movie. But overall I did not find the mechanical flaws particularly important.
The overall experience was satisfactory and about what I expected. I'll probably watch it again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Transfer, Nov. 9 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Shoes (Full Screen) (DVD)
For many years the Red Shoes has been heralded as a classic. And rightfully so. This movie is an extremely stylish and whitty expose about the world of ballet. The people who thrive within this world, and the price of dedication to one's art.
The dvd is drenched in rich technicolor. The detail is supberb. However, this dvd is also loaded with distracting dust particles throughout. Obviously the optics and/or negative was not cleaned prior to the transfer. This disc, being quite expensive, one might want to consider that, aside from the wonderful story, beautiful color, and informative extas, the visual aspect of this disc is lacking.
This movie has not been restored to the excellent viewing quality that some of the other classics, like Vertigo, Rear Window, or even the recently released Citizen Kane, have been exposed to. All of these transfers are simply beautiful.
A terrible transfer from a studio 'The Criterion Collection' that prides itself on the 'highest technical quality'.
The Red Shoes is a 10+ movie, the dvd however, is a 4. Buyer beware.
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