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The Red Shoes - Special Edition [DVD] [1948]

Anton Walbrook , Marius Goring , Emeric Pressburger , Michael Powell    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Red Shoes - Special Edition [DVD] [1948] + A Matter Of Life And Death [DVD] + Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short, Gordon Littmann
  • Directors: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
  • Writers: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell, Hans Christian Andersen, Keith Winter
  • Producers: Emeric Pressburger, George R. Busby
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 July 2009
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059RKE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,403 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's most celebrated Technicolor fairy-tale, The Red Shoes is both metaphor and melodrama of unparalleled boldness. So extravagantly theatrical a movie was regarded as simply unreleasable by the Rank Organisation back in 1948, but in spite of their attempted suppression it has long since been acknowledged as one of British cinema's landmark achievements. Not only were Powell and Pressburger unorthodox enough to populate the cast with real ballet dancers (including the radiant Moira Shearer in the pivotal role), they built the whole film around an extraordinarily daring 17-minute ballet sequence in which the camera moves from outside the proscenium arch into a subjective whirl of impressionistic images inspired and informed by Brian Easdale's marvellous score. Only after seeing this, so the story goes, was Gene Kelly able to see how he could make An American in Paris.

The melodramatic plot, metaphorically acted out in the "Red Shoes Ballet" then re-enacted for real by the main characters, presents Great Art as something worth dying for, and, in the person of Anton Walbrook's Lermontov, gives us a portrait of the artist as a man for whom anything and everything is worth sacrificing in its pursuit. Loosely based on Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes, Walbrook's magnetic central performance is of sufficient stature to conceal the rather trite predicament of his ballerina protégée, and the film's contrived, over-the-top tragic ending.

On the DVD: Sadly for a film in which music is such a central element, the advertised digital remastering doesn't seem to have extended to the mono soundtrack, which shows its age quite badly. The colour print, however, looks very vibrant. This special edition also includes a new 25-minute "making-of" feature with a few comments from crew members (or their relatives) and admirers of the film, including ballerina Darcey Bussell. "The Ballet of the Red Shoes" can be seen on its own in a separate featurette, and there are text biographies and a trailer.--Mark Walker

Product Description

Bonus features on this special edition The Red Shoes DVD include: the "A Profile of The Red Shoes" documentary (25 mins); "The Ballet of The Red Shoes" featurette; Biographies; a behind the scenes stills gallery; English Hard of Hearing subtitles; and a theatrical trailer.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like watching a new film! 25 Oct 2010
By D. Parkin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
First of, a confession; I'm a Powell and Pressburger nut! Already owning this in standard DVD format - a print that was perfectly fine - I took the plunge and asked for this on Blu-ray as a birthday present, havingwatched an on-line preview of the restoration process. I sat down to watch it and was frankly blown away; I had expected to see some level of improvement, but the depth of clarity and colour that I was experiencing took my appreciation of this film to a whole new level. The extras are ok but skimpy and a tad thin, but this is more than made up for by the quality of the print. The sharpening of the sound was another revelation.
I was disinclined to update my existing collection of P & P movies to blu-ray prior to getting this, but having seen such a very real improvement in the presentation of this film I reckon I'll be looking to upgrade others as they become available.
The blu-ray print does credit to a great film. If you own a blu-ray player then you should buy this dvd, as it not only showcases the format in my opinion, but reminds us of why the greatest films are just that - great.
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123 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LEAST TEN STARS! 3 July 2009
By pfvll
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This newly restored and remastered version is miraculous. Once more we can see the brilliant, jewel-like, fully saturated colours that us oldies remember as typical of the original Technicolor process. The restorers, bless them, have, for once, paid equal attention to the sound, so often forgotten by classic film restorers. In this case, the sound is better than in any previous version, including the original. Even if, like me, you have an existing DVD (or VHS tape) of Red Shoes, I urge you to buy this one - it's not expensive, you will be bowled over by the quality of image and sound and will want to keep it for watching again and again.

This extraordinary movie has been watched all over the world throughout the sixty-six years since it was made. Probably no day passes without it being shown somewhere in the world. I doubt these statements are true of any other movie except, perhaps, 'Casablanca'. Moreover, many of the people that love it don't particularly like ballet. Some actively dislike classical ballet. How can this be?

It is so successful because the directors pull so many of the arts together in one construct, each and all of them to an unsurpassed standard. Composer, musicians, choreographer, dancers, actors, stage designers, painters, lighting designers, studio technicians, cinematographer - all gave of their transcendent best to tell a universally well-loved, traditional folk-tale, related by one of the greatest storytellers of all time and to interpret it as a ten-hankie, love-story ballet movie.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incandescent 31 July 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Not sure what I can add to the exemplary review above by pfvll.

A truly great film done the honour of a truly sensational restoration. I studied and admired the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the early nineties at a time when they were beginning to receive the recognition they deserved after years of neglect. I have to say I loved the look of the film then, but seeing it now with this brilliant restoration it gains so much texture and depth that really I have to take my hat off to the vision of everyone concerned, not only Powell, Pressburger and the cast, but Jack Cardiff and Hein Heckroth whose reputations gain most here.

Looks amazing on DVD, but I can't wait to check it out theatrically when it is reissued in December (and no, I don't work for the distributor - when you see the DVD you'll know what I mean).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cut scenes in the restored version 31 May 2010
I bought this DVD to give as a present, having greatly appreciated seeing the restored version in the cinema. I'm not so sure I will do so now, having watched what is on the DVD - but then if one had never seen the film before, how would one know...? The film on the DVD is not the same as that shown in the cinema last year. Vicky's jump from the balustrade has been cut, and the second performance of The Red Shoes - in which she takes no part - is much shorter than in the version I saw in the cinema, greatly reducing the power of the ending of the film. I have no idea why these scenes have been cut - what's the point? It's not as if the running time has been significantly reduced.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Magic 26 Sep 2005
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love this film
absolutely love this film and already have a copy but bought this one for my dad for his birthday
arrived in good packaging and not damaged
Published 1 month ago by angie crockford
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Wonderful movie, great restoration! Arrived in time and in perfect condition. Just a shame about the extras. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Diogo Ferreira
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Shoes
Good film, the restoration was exceptional. Would recommend to any film buff. The camera's used and the three strip colour process
gave it the clarity and it looked as though... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gordon Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Just get it
We all know Andersons classic tale with the moral 'be careful what you wish for'. This classic cinematic adaptation of the selfish ownership and lust the musical director imposes... Read more
Published 10 months ago by W. Swales
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the greatest motion picture ever made.
This motion picture begins with Boris Lermontov, almost on the same day, bringing in two new people into the Ballet Lermontov Company. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dimitri44
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sad film but very well made
About a ballet dancers tortured life torn between her career as a dancer and a life with the man she loves. You'll need the tissues!
Published 11 months ago by soso
4.0 out of 5 stars thank you
Thank you for my DVD The Red Shoes
it came on time and in good condition's
It is not as good as i remember but that it my folt not yours
J Rimmer
Published 15 months ago by Julie Rimmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Present fo r my daughter
My daughter asked me to get this for her she really enjoyed this and has watched it several times .
Published 15 months ago by 60's chick
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent restoration of original film
Powell and Pressberger period piece, Good supplementary second disc with interviews of some of those involved at the time - from before the days of computer generated montages. Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars True classic
Brought as a present for my daughter who is a budding dancer who absolutely loves this film. A real gem
Published 18 months ago by Marie Girard
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