The Red Shoes - Special Edition [DVD] 
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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.
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 WalkerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This extraordinary movie has been watched all over the world throughout the sixty-seven 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.Read more ›
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.
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).
At the heart of the movie is Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook), the imperious impresario of The Ballet Lermontov. He can be cold, charming, ruthless. At a party he says, "If some fat harriden is going to sing, I must go. I can't stand amateurs." He's enigmatic except for his dedication to ballet. At that same party he meets Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), a young ballet dancer, and is intrigued by her.
"Why do you want to dance?" he asks her.
"Why do you want to live?"
"I don't know exactly why, but I must," he says.
"That's my answer, too."
He brings her into his ballet company and also hires Julian Craster, a young composer. Later, with three weeks to create a ballet, he has Craster compose the music to the story of The Red Shoes. Victoria Page will dance it. It is a triumph, but Page leaves the Ballet Lermontov to marry Craster. Lermontov is outraged and swears he'll never see her again. She needs to dance, though, and Lermontov slowly realizes he wants her back, completely dedicated to dancing, because he can make her a great dancer. He subtly woos her back to dance the ballet again, with tragic results.
The ballet of the red shoes is the story of a young girl, engaged to be married who loves to dance and longs to go the village fair. She spies a pair of red dancing shoes in the window of a shoemaker. Despite the reluctance of her fiance, she dons the shoes and begins to dance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Martin Scorsese film is called the most beautiful technicolour film ever made - and this is true. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Nini
this review is for the two disc special edition of the red shoes
the movie on disc one has optional english subtitles. Read more
Acting a but dated but it's the dancing that counts.... Lovely performance by Moira ShearerPublished 3 months ago by meg
One of the best movies ever made. this from a dude who has absolutely no interest in ballet, mind you. the restoration is truly stunning, considering the film is from 1948. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David O. Legaria Rdz
Powell & Pressburger made films that should be watched and cherished by anyone that has a love of film. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Huwge
Got this as a present for my mum for Christmas, came quickly and she loved itPublished 7 months ago by Becky jade