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The Red Shoes (The Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (Black Narcissus, The Small Back Room), is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor visual feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer (The Tales of Hoffmann, Peeping Tom) is a rising star ballerina romantically torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff (Black Narcissus, The African Queen), Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, now dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist.

Additional Features

While Powell and Pressburger's classic adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes is a luscious film, this new Criterion treatment of the restored version gives us all a special reason to rewatch this dance nightmare yet again. With Martin Scorsese's explanation, on disc 1, of the huge task accomplished in its restoration, one not only marvels at how such a fine feature was allowed to accrue mold and scratches, but also at how lucky we are to have a clean Technicolor-like copy available to future viewers. Perhaps some of us are normally underwhelmed by studying cinematic restoration, but in this case the compare and contrast between old and new is astonishing.

Criterion's addition of an entire second disc of extras relating to The Red Shoes' conception, execution, and restoration gives the viewer a holistic glimpse into what is arguably the finest ballet film ever made. This second extras disc, including lengthy interviews with Thelma Schoonmaker Powell (Powell's widow and the film's editor) and audio commentary by Ian Christie, stars Julian Craster (Marius Goring) and Vicky Page (Moira Shearer), cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese, giving one the typical multifaceted view of conditions that made the film possible. A half-hour long documentary, also called "The Red Shoes" (2000), fleshes out further the history of adapting a short story into cinema that feels like theater. But the most unique gems here are the creation and restoration tales surrounding the movie's finest scene: the dance sequence in which Vicky is swept away by her charmed red slippers. "The Red Shoes Sketches," an animated film made from Hein Heckroth's painted storyboards, is a fascinating look at this ballet sequence, as it shows how closely the set design emulates the cartoonish, fantastical original conceits. Jeremy Irons's reading of the fairy tale over the film is also mesmerizing. The only corny inclusion in the extras is a slide show of Scorsese's collection of Red Shoes memorabilia. In all, Criterion's treatment of this film about passion turned obsession does well to mimic The Red Shoes thematically by studying the movie with an equally passionate stance. --Trinie Dalton


Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film historian Ian Christie, featuring interviews with stars Marius Goring and Moira Shearer, cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Introductory restoration demonstration with Scorsese
  • Profile of “The Red Shoes” (2000), a twenty-five-minute documentary
  • Video interview with Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, Michael Powell’s widow
  • Gallery from Scorsese’s collection of The Red Shoes memorabilia
  • The "Red Shoes" Sketches, an animated film made from Hein Heckroth’s painted storyboards
  • Readings by actor Jeremy Irons of excerpts from Powell and Pressburger’s novelization of The Red Shoes and the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by Christie

  • Product details

    • Actors: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring
    • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
    • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
    • Run Time: 134 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B003ICZW8M
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,703 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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    • Learn more about "The Red Shoes (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

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