50/50 Review #6: The Red Shoes.

Premise: A Woman Becomes Obsessed With Dancing While Conflictingly Falls For A Man.

Starring: Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, and Anton Walbrook.

My Reaction: I love (love) Black Swan, of which was always compared to this. I love Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote the original story that inspired this. Here, however, I couldn't have cared less. I was bored out of my mind (so bored I even actually fell asleep at one point). I cared absolutely nothing for the characters, their motivations, the story, or the acting. The music was good. And there's a bit about halfway through the film (about an hour and 10 minutes in) where, for a good 15 minutes, it seems like somebody slipped me some drugs while they actually perform the Red Shoes ballet. That part was interesting. Everything else... no care whatsoever. I know it won two Oscars and is considered one of those "perfect/flawless" classics. And somebody else just might think that. I don't. And I really don't care to watch it again, or to go back and catch the short bit I missed while unconscious. Sorry.

The Zed Word

(P.S. To be fair to the film, that rating is PURELY for my entertainment purposes, not for the quality of the movie.)


  1. I liked this a little more than you did, but not much. The story is incredibly simplistic, and I never bought the romance angle. It always felt to me like the romance was there because it was supposed to be. It never really got established for me.

    The dancing is great, but the ballet itself is, as you say, weird.

    The best part of the film for me is the relationship between her and her mentor/Svengali. That relationship I bought completely.

  2. I couldn't help but chuckle a little because I feel I may have set the bar too high. Then again with the past three movies anything would seem boring compared to them.

    Honestly though? I really don't like this movie at all. The reason I chose it though (besides the fact all these films are Criterion) is that it IS one of those "must see/perfection" films and I figured
    that maybe just cuz I didn't like it, you might. Glad to see our tastes intertwine here.

  3. I'm not a HUGE fan of the story here, either - it's a relatively unbelievable take on the Svengali tale, without enough passion on anyone's part to really put it over.

    HOWEVER. I still own this on Criterion Blu-bay because the colors are simply magnificent. Nobody used color cinematography in the '40s like Powell & Pressburger, and I will watch it over and over just to be dazzled by that. Also, I think the ballet parts are ace.

  4. Yeah, you pretty much hit the hammer on the head with that one.


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