The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Submitted by Tipu

5001 Nights in the Movies
The Red Shoes

From "5001 Nights in the Movies" by Pauline Kael

The Red Shoes (1945) - The most "imaginative" and elaborate backstage musical ever filmed, and many have called it great. The film contains a 14-minute ballet, also called "The Red Shoes", based on a Hans Christian Anderson story about a wicked shoemaker who sells an enchanted pair of slippers to a young girl. Delighted at first with the slippers in which she dances joyously, she discovers that the slippers will not let her stop dancing - and the bewitched, exhausted girl dies. The film's story is, of course, the same story, spelled out in more complicated terms, with the shoemaker in the ballet (Léonide Massine) replaced by the megalomaniac ballet impresario (Anton Walbrook). The exquisite young Moira Shearer is the ballerina; the cast includes Marius Goring as the young composer, Robert Helpmann, Albert Basserman, Ludmilla Tcherina, and Esmond Knight. Blubbery and self-conscious, but it affects some people passionately, and it's undeniably some kind of classic. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger - master purveyors of high kitsch. [!!] Choreography by Helpmann; music by Brian Easdale; conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

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