The marvelous Powell & Pressburger film, The Red Shoes (1948), is showing on TCM at dawn tomorrow – 6am PT, Tuesday, November 16.
I’ve mentioned this movie a number of times over the past couple of months. And since I’ve been writing about lists and “must see” movies, I’ll say that there is no question that this movie would be on any list I might make – of favorites or “must sees”…
As I wrote earlier, The Red Shoes tells the story of a young ballet dancer and the composer who falls in love with her and marries her. And it tells the story of a ballet about a magical pair of ballet shoes – the titular “red shoes.” The extended fantasy ballet sequence was something that hadn’t been seen in film before, and laid the way for similar sequences in later musicals, such as An American In Paris. Roger Ebert describes it as ”the most popular movie ever made about the ballet and one of the most enigmatic movies about anything…. voluptuous…and passionate.” Enigmatic, certainly, and at times quite dark, but also deeply moving and beautiful. You don’t have to like ballet to like it, but if you like the art of film, you’ll love it.
Here’s the ballet sequence, but do yourself a favor and watch it properly – ideally on the big screen in a beautiful theater (as I was able to do in Rome a few years ago), but at least in a quiet and dim room, with no interruptions, on the best TV you’ve got:
The Red Shoes was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1948 – for art direction, film editing and music, and for screenplay (Emeric Pressburger) and Best Picture – and won for art direction and music.
- The Red Shoes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] – Amazon.com
- Powell and Pressburger – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- BFI | Sight & Sound | Seeing red: restoring The Red Shoes
- The Red Shoes :: rogerebert.com :: Great Movies
- The Red Shoes | Film | guardian.co.uk
- The Dance of Death – BOMBLOG – very good, brief critical reaction to the film