The Red Shoes (1948) is a film about a redheaded ballet dancer who performs in a ballet called The Red Shoes based on the fairytale called The Red Shoes, where she plays a redheaded girl who owns a pair of dancing red ballet shoes.
I’ll start again…
The Red Shoes (1948) is a film directed by one of the greatest partnerships of all time; Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. In fact, they directed one of my all time favourite films, A Matter of Life and Death (1946), which the keen eyed reader may have already noticed because of the inclusion of a frame from the film in this blog’s banner image. Anyway, The Red Shoes follows the story of Victoria Cage (Moira Shearer), a young ballet dancer who is conflicted between her dancing ambitions and the man she loves.
This films delivers on every level and it is easy to see why many believe it to be a masterpiece. The story is a classic tragedy featuring beautifully raw acting that one would expect from a Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger film and breathtaking to this day cinematography that one would expect from a Jack Cardiff film. Colour is used extensively well throughout the film (I’m not just saying that because there is a colour in the film’s title) and can almost be said to act as a second actor on screen. It tells the story, conveys the mood of the scene and often reflects the minds of the present characters.
It’s not only one of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s best films, it’s one of Britain’s best films as well.