The Red Shoes (1948).


A wonderfully dark film (in glorious Technicolor!) about the tragedy of a young dancer, Vicky (Moira Shearer) when she is torn between the machinations of two men – a brutal impresario and an aspiring young composer.

Moira Shearer plays the main role as the tragic dancer. Her hair was set off beautifully by the technicolour used in the film, and the central ballet came across very well. This is the sort of film which can appeal to both ballet aficionados, dancers and people completely alien to the dancing world. A similar sort of plot is dealt with in the film, Black Swan, except it’s not handled with the same finesse.

The Red Shoes is quite a long film (over 2 hours long) and the scenery is luxuriant so hopefully the somewhat elongated running time won’t be too much for viewers of the film – especially if they don’t particularly like ballet. No matter what, you can certainly still appreciate ballet as an art form.

The other acting credits within the film were famous but not as striking as the beautiful, talented Moira Shearer. Anton Walbrook (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp) was impressive as Boris Lermontov and even though Marius Goring (A Matter of Life and Death) came across as slightly effeminate in his role as the composer Julian Craster he was good none the less and I was familiar with his previous role as Conductor 71 in A Matter of Life and Death.

 

This film is good over all. The issue of career and success vs. marriage was a difficult issue to fathom back when this film was made but at least things have slightly improved since then.

MY RATING: *** / *****

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