Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

The Red Shoes 1948

Directed by Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

The sumptuous classic about a lovely young ballerina caught between love and her burning passion for dance has been restored to dazzling splendour. “Magnificent… Ballet’s most memorable depiction in film.” — Village Voice

UK In English
133 minutes

Directors, Producers


Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Keith Winter. Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen


Jack Cardiff


Reginald Mills


Brian Easdale


Marius Goring (Julian Craster)
Moira Shearer (Victoria Page)
Jean Short (Terry)
Gordon Littmann (Ike)
Anton Walbrook (Boris Lermontov)
Julia Lang (a balletomane)
Bill Shine (her mate)
Léonide Massine (Ljubov)
Austin Trevor (Professor Palmer)
Esmond Knight (Livy)
Eric Berry (Dimitri)


Michael Powell’s classic tale of a lovely young ballerina caught between love and her burning passion for dance has been restored to a dazzling Technicolor splendour not seen since its original release. Cinephiles and dance lovers rejoice. — BG

“Responsible for turning more moviegoers into wanna-be prima ballerinas per capita than any other film, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s ode to the agony and the ecstasy of dancing is still joyous and moving even if you watch it through filthy, cracked sunglasses. And to view this classic in this newly restored print – sponsored by film-preservation impresario and superfan Martin Scorsese – is to experience an epiphany… You’ve simply never seen a deep red like Moira Shearer’s mane when she catches Anton Walbrook’s eye, or a baby blue the equivalent of his shirt when he offers her the role of a lifetime, or such a lush forest-green as the train carriage where a Mephistophelean deal is struck. It’s always been essential viewing; thanks to this hallucinogenically gorgeous restoration, the expressionistic landmark now feels genuinely life-altering.” — David Fear, Time Out NY

“Powell and Pressburger find as much drama and beauty backstage as on, their delirious spectacle culminating in the 17-minute dance of the title, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s morbid tale of ballet slippers that drive the wearer to dance to her death. Dance, girl, dance: Shearer, a performer with Sadler’s Wells Ballet (later the Royal Ballet), took a year before agreeing to make her film debut at 21. Her auspicious bow in the seventh art would become ballet’s most memorable depiction in film.” — Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

“The prospect of discovering The Red Shoes, in the attendance of a full house, and via a magnificent 35mm print, [will be] something very special indeed... The Red Shoes on the big screen is a must-see, a matter of life and death for some, and our most anticipated date at the New Zealand International Film Festival this year.” — Tim Wong, The Lumiere Reader