Customer Review

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Magic, 26 Sept. 2005
This review is from: The Red Shoes - Special Edition [DVD] [1948] (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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