Friday, 14 November 2014

The Red Shoes (1948)

This visually stunning, heartbreaking film, tells the story of Victoria Paige (Moira Shearer), a young talented ballerina. Her life is torn between the love of her life and the ballet.
Vicky is cast as the lead in a ballet based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, 'The Red Shoes'. As time goes on Vicky's life begins to resemble the fairy tale including it's tragic end.

Visually the film is breathtaking, with it's rich Technicolor, and the wonderful ballet sequence. The film did well in Britain although it was not a commercial success. When it was shown in America however it became one of Britain's highest grossing films of all time. It's innovative use of ballet inspired Gene Kelly to include a ballet sequence in his film, An American in Paris. The BFI rates it 9th in it's top 100 British films of all time.

Moira Shearer had been a ballerina before she began acting in films, and from her superb dancing, to her brilliant red hair matching the shoes, she was perfect for the role as Vicky.
Anton Walbrook is suitably menacing as the controlling director who forces Vicky to choose between her love for Julian (Marius Goring) and the ballet. Haunting and beautiful this is a fascinating film, not only for it's story and characters but also it's use of special effects.


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