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The Red Shoes Criterion 4K UHD Review

“The Red Shoes” is a cinematic classic.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name, 1948’s “The Red Shoes” revolves around an aspiring dancer (Victoria) and a talented composer (Julian) who get their big breaks working at a renowned Ballet run by the wealthy Boris Lermontov. As their careers take off (especially after a performance of “The Red Shoes” ballet), Victoria and Julian begin to develop feelings for one another much to the chagrin of Boris who is consumed by jealousy. Victoria soon finds herself being torn apart by the two emotionally which also impacts her career. 

Directed by the legendary duo Michaell Powell and Emeric Pressburger (and scripted by Powell, Pressburger and Keith Winter), “The Red Shoes” is one of those films where everything clicks. The drama between the 3 central characters is involving, the score is grand, the sets are lavish, and the titular ballet is as cinematic as it gets. The breathtaking sequence is nothing short of a showstopper that is filled with dazzling colors, a touch of surrealism, a dash of creepyness, and artful cinematography by Jack Cardiff. Even now it shows the possibilities of what cinema can do.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect is the screenplay’s exploration of art and life and how the two can blend together. Can art consume your life? Can an artist live without art? These are but some of the concepts touched upon here.

The 3 central performers Anton Walbrook (Boris), Marius Goring (Julian) and Moira Shearer (Victoria) are on the top of their game here. All 3 actors bring these characters to life in a believable fashion. They truly sweep the audience into the world of ballet.


PresentationL 1.37:1 216op with Dolby Vision HDR. How does it look? The 4K digital master from the 2009 restoration delivers the goods. Technicolor doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? From the rousing score to the dialogue, this track provides a crisp audio experience.

* Blu-ray copy
* a booklet featuring an essay by David Ehrenstein, credits, photos, and restoration notes by Robert Gitt
* Audio recordings of Jeremy Irons reading passages of “The Red Shoes” novelization.
* “The Red Shoes” trailer
* A 1994 commentary by film historian Ian Christie that also features interviews with cast members Marius Goring and Moria Shearer, DP Jack Cardiiff, composer Brian Easdale and Martin Scoresese.
* Cast And Crew, Filming In London, Filming In Paris, Filming In Monte Carlo, Deleted Scenes and Production And Costume Designs still galleries.
* A slide show of Scorsese’s “The Red Shoes” memorabilia
* “The Red Shoes Sketches” animated film from the storyboards. Viewers have the option of playing a side-by-side comparison of the animation and the film sequence. There’s also an alternate audio track with Jeremy Irons reading Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes” fairy tale.
* A 14 minute interview with Thelma Schoonmaker who also worked on the 2009 restoration of the film.
* “Profile Of The Red Shoes”- A 2000 making of documentary with a host of interviews.
* A 2009 restoration demonstration.


December 17, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , ,

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