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The Red Shoes U rating

Moira Shearer’s ballerina is torn between love and her career in Powell and Pressburger’s hugely influential melodrama.

Drama 1948 135 mins

Director: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger



Described by Martin Scorsese as “the movie that plays in my heart” and a direct influence on Kate Bush, who was attracted by its portrayal of crazed passion, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s film is a moving masterpiece. Moira Shearer stars as a ballerina torn between her love for her husband and the strenuous demands of her art. The extraordinary 15-minute performance of the Red Shoes ballet at the film’s climax is one of the most famous sequences in British cinema.

The film won Oscars for its score and its remarkable sets. Powell and Shearer would collaborate again on another ballet film, the beautiful Tales of Hoffmann (1951). Ranked joint 67th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll.