The Red Shoes (1948) Script

They're going mad, sir. It's the students.

All right. Let them in.

Swine! Beasts!

Into the valley of death... Into the jaws of hell...

..rode the 600!

Hey, hey. Ease up.

You're sitting on my cloak.

Something up down below? Not a sausage.

Ah. Here you are, Terry. Thank you.

I can't see him anywhere.

Programs. Oh. Two, please.

One here. Thanks, pal.

Quite a turnout down below.

Old Palmer's music had better be good.

Boronskaja wouldn't dance the leading role if it wasn't.

Boro who? Who exactly is Boronskaja?

Since you've stood in a queue for six hours waiting to see her dance...

Not to see anybody. To hear.

Have you ever heard of Professor Palmer?

Never. You will.

The program says, "Heart Of Fire, music by Andrew Palmer."

Our professor. Boro-what's-her-name best be good.

She's hardly likely to be anything else.

There he is. Palmer!


Come on, Livy!

We know him.

Do you remember my Cytherean Rhapsody?

Forget it. That's it. Your rhapsody.

It must be an accident. Did you show him?

I show him all my work. You think he lifted it?


She's a great patron of the arts.

Vicky. Vicky.


Lermontov's coming.

I say! That's yours, too, isn't it? Yes.

Steady, old boy.

Well, what are you waiting for?


Please, do you mind?

Oh, really!

Dear Professor, we're very proud of you. I hope you're proud of yourself.

You're too kind. Monsieur Lermontov.

We meet the great man at last. Enchanté, madame.

I never imagined I'd succeed in getting you here.

I must be a very clever woman.

If some fat harridan is going to sing, I must go.

I can't bear amateurs. Neither can Lady Neston.

What do you mean? She has a niece who dances.


Hello, Professor.

Now, please don't get up, Mr. Lermontov.

Now, are you prepared for a surprise?

Do you mean a surprise or a shock?

Well, to take the plunge, I've asked my niece to dance tonight.

What would you call that?

A shock.

Oh, well, you're certainly very candid.

You know, Mr. Lermontov, I wouldn't dream of boring you with the performance of an amateur.

My niece has been dancing leading roles for some time now.

The critics think highly of her work.

How would you define ballet, Lady Neston?

Well... one might call it the poetry of motion, perhaps, or...

One might. But for me, it is a great deal more.

For me, it is a religion.

And one doesn't really care to see one's religion practised in an atmosphere such as this.

I hope you understand.

Attractive brute.

I'll have a champagne cocktail. Yes, sir.

Champagne cocktail, please. Yes, madam.

Do you know at parties everybody is supposed to be very happy?

But perhaps you dislike them as much as I do.

Still, I think it might have been worse.

Do you? It very nearly was much worse.

Oh? Thank you.

We were to be treated to a little dancing exhibition.

But now we're to be spared that horror.

Mr. Lermontov, I am that horror.


It's a bit late for apologies.

Yes, a little late, I think.

I'm sorry. I'm terribly sorry.

But you're not sorry I didn't dance, are you?

May I ask why? Because, my dear Miss...

Victoria Page.

Miss Page, if I accept an invitation to a party, I do not expect to find myself at an audition.

Yes. You're quite right.

Why do you want to dance?

Why do you want to live?

Well, I don't know exactly why, but, uh... I must.

That's my answer, too.

Come with me.

Where to? We're going to talk.

But I don't want to talk to you. Don't worry. I'll do the talking.

Can I see Mr. Lermontov now, please?

What is it, Dimitri?

A young man called Craster. He's been here a hundred times.

I've told him you're asleep. He will not believe me.

Either you're a bad liar or he's a man of good sense.

Show him in and serve breakfast.

Mr. Craster.

What can I do for you, Mr. Craster?

I'm sorry to bother you, Mr. Lermontov, but it's a matter of great importance to me.


I wrote you a letter, a silly letter.

I'd like to have it back before you read it.

I see.

That's the one.

Unfortunately, Mr. Craster, I have already read this letter.


Mr. Lermontov, please. You are Professor Palmer's pupil?

You say you've written a string quartet and a piano concerto.


Very interesting.

Would you care to play me something?

Something of your own, I mean.

Of course, if... if you wish it.

This is a study I wrote for the piano.

But I'm thinking of orchestrating it and putting it into an opera I'm working on.

But are you finished already? It was very interesting.

Hope I haven't ruined your breakfast.

By the way...

I need a new coach for the orchestra. Would the idea interest you?

Would it... interest?

I shouldn't be able to pay much. £8 a week and expenses.

It would be absolutely marvellous.

Get some breakfast and come over to Covent Garden.

Thank you.

And your letter, Mr. Craster.

If you take my advice...

you'll destroy it immediately and forget about it.

The Heart Of Fire is your work, isn't it?

These things happen unintentionally.

I know. That's why...

That's why it is worth remembering that it is much more disheartening to have to steal than to be stolen from, hmm?

Good morning.

# As I walk the long, cloudy, stormy night... #

# He went to Covent Garden in the morning... #

What a corker.

Course I tried to get her. Tried to get her twice. Ta-ra.

Here you are, son. Thank you.

Hey, you'll pardon me.

This is the way to the stage, isn't it?

Name? Julian Craster.

What name? Julian Craster.

Not on my list.

Lunch, Irina? Yes.

But I have an appointment...

I'm sorry, but I've got my job to look after.

Good morning, George. Oh, bonjour, madame.

How is Madame George?

Oh, she's la très jalouse. Very jalouse.

It's that bit of a photograph we had took together. Compris?

They been looking all over London for you this morning.

Oh, flute! That's what I said.

How much longer must I wait?

I'll send for the SM. What is your name, young man?

Julian Craster.

I have an appointment with Mr. Lermontov.

Julian Kwis... Kweiss...

Craster. Kwaster.

Well, George, if this young man is invited by Mr. Lermontov, you can pass him, yes?

Ça va by me, madame. Ça va by me.

Follow me, young man.

Est-ce que vous...? Comment?

Are you a dancer?

Yes... at night. Not very much in the morning.

I don't know much about the ballet.

You are artiste? Yes. I'm a composer.

Ah! And you wish to see who?

Well, I'm afraid I'm not quite sure.

They are all there. Take your choice.

Excuse me. Who's in charge?

No idea, mate. There's five or six of them that thinks they are.

Can you tell me who's in charge? Don't ask me.

I'm just somebody's mother.

That doesn't mean much around here, I can tell you.

Can you tell me who's in charge? In charge of what?

Mr. Lermontov asked me to come. Why?

He's engaged me. Not as a dancer, I hope.


Allons, mes enfants! Au boulot!


Well, Mr. Ratov, Mr. Ljubov wants it moved.

It is on the plan, and there it stays.

Well, if you say so.

Merci. Morning, madame.

Ah, here comes the great Boronskaja at last.

And today she's only 43 minutes late.

Am I supposed to congratulate myself on that?

I tell you, Irina, my patience is at an end.

I shall go to Lermontov and explain to him how no theatre is big enough to hold both you and me!

I might as well start packing.

Oh, there's no hurry. He might choose to dispense with MY services.

He is quite crazy enough.

But if we go, we go together, Grischa, darling. Promise?

Coo, Buschka.

Who are you? Victoria Page.

I expect Mr. Lermontov has spoken about me.

He's invited me here... No, this is too much.

He invites them, I teach them.

I get rid of them, he forgets them.

And now, unhappy girl, please go to the far corner of the stage, where you'll meet five others to whom Mr. Lermontov has also extended his hospitality.

Quiet, please!

I want to rehearse the first act of Heart Of Fire.

Will everybody not concerned leave the stage, please?

Right-o, boys, set act one. Hurry.

Is that so? Well, I agree.

Where are you going, my dear?

I'm going to talk to Mr. Lermontov.

Wouldn't it be better to wait until after rehearsal?

Oh, no. You see, I know him personally.

Ah, well, that makes all the difference. Of course.

Ratov... Yes, Boris?

Stay where you are. I'll come up.

Good morning, Mr. Lermontov. Good morning, Ratov.

We must do something about this foreground piece here.

The girls last night had hardly room to move. Ljubov was right.

Aha! Ljubov... Ljubov is always right.

Do you really think so? Yes.

Well, well, well. Then take it away. Take it away.

Well, you see, my dear, Mr. Lermontov is a very busy man.

Now, why don't you go and wait over there with the others?

Ivan! Are you ready?

Yes, I will.

Sergei Sergeievitch? Yes?

Are you acquainted with the works or person of Julian Craster, composer and conductor?

No. Nor I.

Which proves how sadly we lag behind the times, for here he is in our midst.

Lermontov has engaged him this morning.

Rond de jambe... E.

Class dismissed.

No, gentlemen. Figure 29, sing.

I think that will do.

Thank you, gentlemen.

The brass could do with your attention, Craster. Tomorrow.

Gentlemen, I'm very sorry to bring you here so early.

But I've been in front for this ballet more than once and I really must...

There are one or two things I really must put right.

So, um, Heart Of Fire. Overture, please.

From the beginning.

Oh, by the way, trumpets, at two bars before figure two, have you got an E natural?

No. I've got an E flat.

Ah. Makes all the difference. Should be E natural.

Right. From the beginning.

I know it's hard to get your lips set this early, but we ought to be able to come in together.

Even more pianissimo. Less strings.

A, oboe.

From the beginning, please.

That's nice. Mr. Craster!

What is going on? Have you taken leave of your senses?

Do you realise that by calling the orchestra early we must pay them?

And why are you rehearsing Heart Of Fire?

Did I ever ask you to do that? Tell me. I'm interested.

I'm sure Mr. Lermontov will be interested, too.

Well? I like it.

You like it? You must also like the National Anthem and the Marseillaise.

I hope you won't summon the full orchestra at dawn to practise those noble melodies?

I leave this young man to you, Lermontov.

After all, he is your discovery, not mine.

Mr. Craster, I must ask you to exercise in future a little more control over your natural ambitions.

And why you've chosen Heart Of Fire for this early-morning escapade...

Good morning, gentlemen... a mystery I shall never hope to solve.

May I see that wrong note in the score, please?

Hmm. However, there are passages in Heart Of Fire which no one need be ashamed of.

Thank you, Mr. Lermontov.

Good morning, Miss Page. Good morning, Edmund.

Is Lord Oldham with you? Yes, miss.

Be careful, miss.

Good morning, Peter. Hello, Vicky.

What are you doing here? What are you?

Having lunch with Boris Lermontov, the fellow who runs the ballet.

Oh. Business or pleasure? A bit of both.

Are you shopping or slumming?

Don't worry, Grischa. I'll bring her back at three o'clock.

How are you, madame? How are you?

Hello, Peter. I hope we haven't kept you waiting.

No, not at all.

Boris, meet my friend Vicky Page. How do you do?

Can we give you a lift anywhere?

No, thank you, Peter. Excuse me, Miss Page.

Who? Victoria Page? yes, she may dance.

( # Swan Lake )

Good morning, my dear young ladies.

I hope I find you all very well.

There are one or two things I would like to say.

As you know, the ballet's leaving Saturday for Paris.

I can't imagine anything more enchanting than inviting all of you, but I'm afraid this pleasure must be denied me.

To those whom we must regretfully leave behind, I'd like to say just this - please don't be discouraged.

The fact that we can't take you doesn't mean that you're bad dancers.

It just means that this year, unfortunately, we haven't got enough room.

Please step out Miss Faye, Miss Banes, Miss Hardiman and Miss Laughlin.


I thank you four ladies for the hard work you've done this year.

And I'm sure my gratitude is echoed here by Mr. Ljubov.

Maybe next year, we shall meet you again. Good morning.

Vicky, he means us!

Listen... Mes amis...

I am fiancée. I get married!

My dear child!

All my love and best wishes for your happiness.

I wish you the greatest happiness with your new partner.

Merci. Grischa? Where is Grischa? I'm here, Irina!

Darling, do you hate me?

I could never hate you, Irina, but how can I ever forgive you?

You will forgive me, that I know.

Don't quarrel with your poor husband as much as you quarrel with your conductor.

Where is Boris Lermontov? He has nothing to say to me?


He has... no heart, that man.


Mr. Craster, I have a job for you. Good!

Do I understand you have not been altogether very happy with us so far?

Well, I... Well, what?

Coaching an orchestra is not exactly a young composer's dream, is it?

I'm afraid the job I have may not be a young composer's dream, either.

Still, I hope you do not consider it entirely unworthy of your talent.

The ballet of The Red Shoes is from a fairy tale by Hans Andersen...

..pair of red shoes.

Oh, I beg your pardon?

The ballet of The Red Shoes is from a fairy tale by Hans Andersen.

It is the story of a girl who is devoured by an ambition to attend a dance in a pair of red shoes.

She gets the shoes, goes to the dance and at first, she's very happy.

At the end of the evening, she gets tired and wants to go home.

But the red shoes... are not tired.

In fact, the red shoes are never tired.

They dance her out into the streets, over the mountains and valleys, through fields and forests, through night and day.

Time rushes by. Love rushes by.

Life rushes by.

But the red shoes... dance on.

What happens in the end?

In the end, she dies. Yes. I remember.

The music is by Felipe Beltran.

He did it for us last year during our South American tour.

You'll find some passages marked with a blue pencil. They are bad.

I would like to see what you can do in the way of a little rewriting.

Oh. You can take your time.

There's no hurry. Thank you.

On vous attend sur la scène, M. Lermontov.

Oui, je viens.

Thank you.

Ah, look at our Boronskaja. She's in wonderful form tonight.

I'm not interested in Boronskaja's form any more.

Nor with any prima ballerina imbecile enough to get married.

Oh, come now, Boris. She's out. Finished.

You cannot have it both ways.

The dancer who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love... will never be a great dancer.


That is all very pure and fine, Boris, but you can't alter human nature.

No? I think you can do even better than that.

You can ignore it.



Well, Irina, now you'll be able to sleep as long as you like and eat sweets all day and go to parties every night.

And you, now you will be calm.

The class will start on time.

No more shouting. No more hysteria backstage. No more...

No more... Irina.

Oh, Monsieur Lermontov!

Miss Page.

Are you very tired? Yes, thank you.

I mean, I'm not very tired.

Monsieur, je vous présente Miss Victoria Page.

Monsieur Boudin, le directeur général de l'opéra.

Monsieur Rideaut. Enchanté, mademoiselle.

You have already visited Monte Carlo, mademoiselle?

Yes, I was here last season.

Then you know the Hôtel de Paris. Yes, but I believe I'm staying...

Hôtel de Paris. You'll be very comfortable.

La voiture de Monsieur Lermontov vous attend, Miss Page.

Bon soir, mademoiselle.

Montez, mademoiselle.

You look dressed up for a conference.

Hello. Is there a conference on?

Yes. They're all arguing. I've been here since seven.

There you are, Miss Page.

Will you come in here, please?

I was just going out, Mr. Lermontov, when I got your message.

Miss Page...

I've asked you to come here tonight because we're preparing a new ballet, and I've decided to give you a chance and let you dance the principal part in it.

But there's one thing I must tell you at once.

My belief in your possibilities is not shared by my colleagues here.

However, it is hardly necessary for me to add that whatever their personal belief, they will all give you their best.

The rest, of course, is up to you.

Well, Miss Page... that's all.

We shall start work early tomorrow morning.

I suggest you forget all about your party and go home to bed.

Yes, I will.

And Miss Page?

Good luck. Thank you.

Well, what happened?

I've got a part in a new ballet. New? What ballet?

The Red Shoes!

Now, listen to this. It's impossible.

Well, I couldn't rewrite that bit, could I?

Why not? You didn't blue-pencil it.

Horrors like that don't need to be blue-pencilled. They speak for themselves.

In fact, I had some ideas about that.

Where are they, dear fellow? We need a score!

If you'll allow me.

Well, it's the church scene.

Get rid of this sentimental hymn and take a four-square chorale.

Something like this.

Then I thought all the way through, a church bell coming in.

All this on the strings.

Then as the priest appears, the brass.

Shall I play you The Dance of the Red Shoes?

Thank you, Mr. Craster. Thank you.

I want you to change everything. I want a new score.

There you are, Mr. Lermontov.

And where's the orchestration?

When do you want it? Yesterday.

You wanted to work. Go home and work.

I don't want to see your face anywhere until you finished it.

You won't!

Why aren't you in bed?

Oh, you gave me quite a fright. I meant to.

Why aren't you in bed?

I was ordered to, but I was much too excited to sleep, so here I am.

Are you? I haven't seen you. Thank you.

By the way, you haven't seen me, either.

Has he sent you to bed, too? No.

I'm just working on the score of my new ballet, The Red Shoes.

Is that my ballet, too?

Yes, I suppose it is.

I wonder what it feels like to wake up in the morning and find oneself famous.

You're not likely to know if you stay here talking much longer.

So, good luck. Good luck.

She's putting too much into it.

Why don't you tell her, Grischa?

Mind your own business.

She has the dance with me and the dance at the fair earlier.

And the big stuff still to come. She can't dance everything full out.

She ought to know that. How do you expect her to know it, Ivan Ivanovich, if you never danced full out before opening night?

Here are the designs for the costumes, Boris.

One moment. Sit down, will you, please?

I'm so sorry Mr. Lyubov. Something will have to be done about the music.

She starts the pirouette early.

The tempo's wrong. It's too fast. It's the right tempo.

Of course. Once more.

She'll be all right. I hope so.

Still unconverted, Sergei?

Well, of course she's a charming girl, but...

I know nothing about her charms and I care less.

But I tell you, they won't wait till the end, they'll applaud in the middle!

Come now. Sergei, I'll take a bet.

Oh, enough. Enough.

Miss Page, we are trying to create something of beauty.

Might I suggest that while you continue to wave your arms like a scarecrow and bend your knees like an old cart horse, we are unlikely to succeed.

Well, well... it's a bet.

Come, let me see your sketches.

The girl.

You still think I can do it?

Well, at the moment, you look as if you find it difficult.

But when we open in two weeks, I hope it'll be supremely simple.

Don't forget, the great impression of simplicity can only be achieved by a great agony of body and spirit.


You don't want to ruin your breathing, do you?

From today I have arranged that you shall have your lunch in my office.


Will you sit over there, please?

Merci. Mr. Craster, the piano.

Do you usually have musical accompaniment to your meals?

No, Miss Page, I do not.

I'm afraid this is your fate for the next two weeks.

Mr. Craster is going to play The Red Shoes music at every lunch, tea and dinner you take until we open.

I see.

Yes. In this way, you should become quite familiar with the music.

Yes, I think I probably shall.

The music is all that matters. Nothing but the music.

Mr. Craster? Certainly.

Bon appétit.

à votre service, mademoiselle.

Some composers specialise in lunchtime music, don't they?

Some. You?

In my time.

Do you mind not playing that?

It's the right tempo.

Let's take the ballroom scene.

That's the most digestible part of the score.

The ballroom's been cut.

Cut as a scene, but it's still there in my score.

I wrote this dance for a ballroom.

Anyone who understands anything about music will see a ballroom.

Even Lermontov will see a ballroom.

Even you.

And when you're lifted into the air by your partner, my music will transform you.

Into what?

A flower... swaying in the wind.

A cloud... drifting in the sky.

A white bird... flying.

Tell that to Ratov.

He would love your birds and flowers.

You don't?

If you were a dancer, you'd know... Just a minute.

# Nothing matters but the music #

It's hard enough to get off the ground anyway without being a bird or flower.

Won't you imagine anything on the first night?

Yes, a wall between me and the audience.

My music will pull you through it.


Miss Page, I'm not a circus conductor and you're not a horse.

It's too fast.

You would not find it too fast if you'd let the slow passage end before you start your pirouette.

My downbeat marks a pause.

We understand it, don't we, gentlemen?

You come in on the second beat. Impossible!

One, two, tia, tia!

It's quite simple. You see this baton?

Yes. Well, follow it!

Good luck. Good luck.

Vicky. Vicky!

Dance whatever tempo you like. I'll follow you.

All right, Ivan?

Time to go down, Craster.

Good luck. Thank you.

Nervous? No.

Do I...?

What the devil have you got to worry about?

It's a fine score. A magnificent score. I only wish I...

Go on.

Grischa. It's chaos, chaos, chaos!

Grischa... Ah, Boris.

Mon dieu! The red shoes. What?

The red shoes are not there!

Rideaut. Monsieur.

Where are they?

You haven't hidden them yourself? No, no, no!

Yes! Fou! Fou!

Boris, look here.


Clumsy elephants have ruined my decor.

Calm yourself. The door! The door! It won't shut.

Somebody must hold it. But who?

The call boy. He'll have nothing to do.

Dimitri. Give it to me. Hold the door.

Best of luck, Miss Page. I can't remember my entrance.

You think you can't. What about this?

That's it. It's all right when I hear the music.

Since you undoubtedly will hear the music, it's undoubtedly going to be all right.

The music is all that matters. Nothing but the music.

If I had any doubts about you, I'd be nervous.

Am I nervous? No.

You're not dancing for an audience.

You're dancing for Ljubov, Ratov, myself, people you've danced for many times before.

I believed in you from the very beginning.

But now everybody does.

Dance tonight with the same ecstasy I've seen in you only once before.

At the Mercury Theatre?

Yes, at the Mercury Theatre in London... on a wet Saturday afternoon.

40 seconds. Coming.

Good luck, my dear.

You're the magician, to have produced this in three weeks from nothing.

My dear Levin, not even the best magician in the world can't produce a rabbit from a hat if there isn't already a rabbit in the hat.

It's a pity the theatre only holds 300.

We could have filled the Albert Hall tonight!

But what we're creating tonight, the world will talk of tomorrow.

Good boy.


Ça va? Any swelling?

I mean the head.

All that clapping, bravos, roses...

Puh! All that's nothing.

But when I, who have seen Pavlova, Karsavina dance, tell you that last night you were not bad... not good, but not bad... that's something.

Now I tell you truth.

It was... good. Thank you, Mr. Ljubov.

My name is Grischa. Mine is Vicky.

How do you do?

Arm straighter. So...

Boris Lermontov wants to see you.

Why in the class time? Why?


Fifth. Bras.

Hello? Hello? Yes. Who is it? Oh, it's you!

Monsieur Lermontov...

No, no. It's fine. Thank you for ringing me.

You're not disturbing me at all.

I always have time for congratulations.

Oh, yes. I agree. Monsieur Lermontov...

A most distinguished score.

Voilà, Monsieur Craster. Uh, Monsieur Craster?

Yes. Of course he'll contact me.

Yes, he's going to.

He's starting with a new ballet, full of gait and charm.

La belle Meunière, book by Marcel Lucien.

Go away.

Yes. Oh, yes, it's a wonderful role for her.

Au revoir, Lermontov. Au revoir, madame.

No, not this season. Next season.

Merci beaucoup.

Yes. It was very kind of you to ring me.

Thank you very much.

No more calls, not even congratulations.

Au revoir. Where are those papers?

Thank you very much. Here.


Well, Mr. Craster, that's all. Thank you very much. I'm proud of you.

Mr. Lermontov, I would like to... Some other time... ah, yes!

Do you read French? Yes.

Well, read it. We'll talk about it some other time.

Mademoiselle Page.

Come in, Miss Page, come in. Sit down.

I want to talk to you about your future.

When we first met, at Lady Neston, you asked me a question to which I gave a stupid answer.

You asked me whether I wanted to live and I said yes.

Actually, I want more, much more!

I want to create, to make something big out of something little... to make a great dancer out of you.

But first, I must ask you the same question.

What do you want from life?

To live? To dance.

We have two months left of the season in Monte Carlo.

Not much time, but enough, two months.

Then we go on tour - Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Stockholm, then America.

Then next year, London again.

All the big parts for you...

Coppelia, Lac des Cygnes, Gisèle, Sleeping Princess, Les Sylphides, La Boutique...

We create them all first with you.

You shall dance... and the world shall follow.

You... Shh!

Not a word.

I will do the talking.

You... will do the dancing.

( # La Boutique fantasque )

Ah, Victoria Page.

Good night, Boris. Night, Grischa.

She was not bad tonight. She'll be all right.

All right! Not bad! But she's a flame!

Still la-di-da? Good night, Boris. Good night, Sergei.

Vicky was wonderful in Boutique, just a little Dresden shepherdess.

We should reconstruct the theatre.

What's wrong with it? It's too small!

Good night, Lermontov. Good night, Livy.

Her timing's a miracle. Keep her up to it.

( # Coppelia )

Good night, Boris. Good night, Grischa.

Good night, Boris. Good night, Sergei.

Good night, Mr. Lermontov. Good night, Vicky.

Good night, Boris. Good night, Sergei.

Uh, thank you, Monsieur Boudin. That's all.

Good night, Boris. Good night, Grischa.

Boudin. Oui?

Which is the very best restaurant on the coast?

La Resserre. Oui, La Resserre.

Good night, Lermontov. Good night, Livy.

Book me a table.

For... two? Yes.

Au revoir.

Julian. Yes?

I never said good night to Lermontov.

Monsieur Dimitri? No, Miss Page has still not come in.

Monsieur Ratov? Uh, not yet, either.

Monsieur Ljubov? 317... No.

Ah, Monsieur Dimitri, I've just heard they've all gone to supper at the Old Port with Monsieur Ljubov.

His birthday!

Class! Class! Un gateau.

Ah, merci.

Boris Lermontov!

Good evening, Grischa.

Am I permitted to join your party?

Get me a chair! What a pleasure, Boris.

A chair for Boris Lermontov!

Two chairs for Boris Lermontov! Make way there. A throne.

A throne for the great Boris. Take mine.

No, no, take mine.

No, you sit down. It's your birthday.

Well... seems a long time since I sat down to supper with my entire family.

But it appears that the great Miss Page is not with us tonight.

Don't you miss another member of our happy little family?

No... no. I can't say I do.

Why should you? You're a busy man. Have a drink, Lermontov!

Grischa. Ta santé.

Of course we all know you're a busy man, Boris Lermontov, but do you mean to tell me you have noticed nothing?

Don't exaggerate.

Boris, we have a little romance in our midst.

A great romance!

Romeo Craster. And Juliet... Page.

And when... did this great romance begin?

With the Red Shoes.


And where have they taken themselves tonight?

What does it matter where they've gone?

They are young, they are together and they are in love.


I've decided I do believe in destiny after all.

Do you, my darling? I'm very glad.



You'll wake him.

But I want to know where we are.

Cocher? Co...

One day, when I'm old, I want some lovely young girl to say to me...

"Tell me, where in your long life, Mr. Craster, were you most happy?"

And I shall say...

"Well, my dear, I never knew the exact place.

"It was somewhere on the Mediterranean.

"I was with Victoria Page."

"What?" she will say. "Do you mean the famous dancer?"

And I will nod, "Yes, my dear, I do.

"But then, she was quite young, comparatively unspoiled.

"We were, I remember, very much in love."

( # Swan Lake )

Did you see that?

She smiled at Craster.

I don't think so.

I suppose you will be sending me to an oculist next.

Watch her dancing.

With pleasure.

Debutantes... at a charity matinée.

Yes. Yes!

Yes. All right. Thursday.

Good evening, Mr. Lermontov.

I'm afraid the score's still a bit rough, but I see you had time to look at it.

Yes, Mr. Craster.

I have looked at it.

However, it's not about your music that I wish to talk at the moment.

So to come to the point...

What is all this I hear about you and Miss Page?

Oh, I see.

Could Dimitri...? Get out.

Well, Mr. Craster?

Yes. We're in love.

I see.

Did you see Miss Page's performance in Lac des Cygnes?

I was conducting.

Did you enjoy it?

It was the loveliest thing I've ever seen.

It was impossible.

And you know why it was impossible?

Because neither her mind nor her heart were in her work.

She was... dreaming.

And dreaming is a luxury I've never permitted in my company.

Miss Page wants to be a great dancer.

Perhaps she has spoken to you about her ambitions.

Oh, yes.

She's not, however, a great dancer yet.

Nor is she likely to become one if she allows herself to be sidetracked by idiotic flirtations.

Mr. Lermontov, you... don't understand.

We really are in love.

And, Mr. Craster, I have had time to look at your latest effort...


..and find it equally impossible.

That's not true. It's good.

Childish... vulgar... and completely insignificant.

In that case, I'll relieve you of it.

There are so many first-class ballet companies to which you may take it with advantage.

Ballet work is not my great ambition.

Some of us think it's rather a second-rate means of expression.

'Oui, Monsieur Lermontov?' Mr. Craster is leaving the company.

Pay him two weeks' salary and get the receipt.

Oh, hello, Boris.

I was coming to say good night. Good night.

Is anything the matter? No, no.

And before I forget, don't do any more work on the new ballet.

I decided to scrap it. Scrap it? What do you mean?

I worked out half the choreography already.

That boy Julian is really gifted.

It's one of the finest scores we ever had.

Julian Craster is leaving the company and I don't wish to discuss the matter any further.

Oh, you don't? Well, I do!

Do you think I don't know a brilliant score when I hear one?

Do you think I've been working day and night for weeks for the pleasure of being told I am wasting my time?

I tell you, Boris, I've had enough of this fantastic lunatic asylum!

I am through with it!

I resign!

I think you've made a very important decision.

Hello, you two. Isn't love wonderful?

Bonsoir, Julian.


Well, what did he say?

Ah. Of course he doesn't really want you to go, Grischa.

He is very sorry.

Well, in that case, I will think about it.

What about Julian?

I have never seen him quite as bad as this.

He talked a great deal about ingratitude and... disloyalty.

And he said when personal relations start to interfere...

Yes, I know that bit.

My dear children, I'm very sorry.

Boris might feel different in the morning.

The morning? He's leaving for Paris by the 8.15 train.

Has the famous Miss Page come to see me off?

I'd like to talk to you.

I want to know why you quarrelled with Julian.

May I suggest that such matters are hardly your business?

However, since you've gone to all this trouble...

Mr. Craster has been unwise enough to interfere with plans of mine.

And that is something I do not permit.

I thought once that there would be no room in my life for anything but dancing.

You'll think so again, my dear.

But if Julian goes, I shall go, too.

And what do you intend to do?

I shall dance somewhere else.

Oh, yes.

That won't be very difficult with the name I've given you.

Always provided I release you of your contract.

But even if I do, would it be quite the same?

I have never pretended to myself that it would.

I could make you one of the greatest dancers the world has ever known.

Do you believe that? Yes, I do.

And all that means nothing to you?

You know exactly what it means to me.

The train is leaving!

Goodbye, Mr. Lermontov.

Miss Page is coming!

Julian! Julian!

I'm coming with you!


The fool.

The fool.


Come in. You are late.

I hope you didn't work too hard.

All finished. I have the injunction with me.

Boris, don't tell me you've changed your mind again.

I... I don't want to stop her doing anything.

She can dance when and where she likes... except the Red Shoes.

What about the boy? That's different.

Everything written under contract to me is mine.

The Red Shoes and his work so far on La Belle Meunière.

I'm not interested in anything else he writes.

If you keep The Red Shoes in the repertoire, you'll have to pay him royalties.

Red Shoes is no longer in the repertoire!


I understand Patrick Trevellyan is in Paris.


I dined with them both last night.


Boronskaja was with him? Yes.

Anything I can do?

How's their marriage? Success?

Patrick seems to think so.

Would you like me to arrange a meeting with Irina?

Not arrange.

By chance.

Oh! Boris!

( # Les Sylphides )

Good night, Boris. Good night, Irina.

Good season. With the Ballet Lermontov, always.

Good night, Boris. Good night, Sergei.

Sergei! Yes?

Would you wait a minute, please? Yes, of course, Boris.

Good night, Boris! Grischa, please come in and wait.

Oh... a conference.

Ah! Uh!


Nobody writes to me. That's not true.

Yours... from Vicky.

From Vicky?

How is that girl? Read it. You'll see.

And this is from Julian.

It's all about his new opera.

It describes the whole structure. Enormous talent, that boy.

He says...

"She is an inspiration.

"A miracle."

Thank you, Mr. Boudin. That's all. Merci. Bonsoir.

Well... I see it's mail day.

From our two young rebels.

Deserters. I hope they're happy.

Read, Boris. Yes. Read this, too.

It might make you sorry to have lost that young man.

I doubt it.

That reminds me...

Jacques sent me the new score of La Belle Meunière.

I like it. I'd like you all to hear it at once.

We might open with it in London.

With Irina? We can discuss that.

The part is light, all gaiety, fire.

Be good enough to glance through it. And no prejudice, please.

I hope you say that to yourself sometimes.

Every day. Good night.

Good night. Good night.

On second thought, I think I would like to read those letters.

My letter was only meant to be read by me.

See you later, Boris.

Good night, Sergei.

I could hardly let him read it.

She calls him a monster... a gifted, cruel monster.

You should have told him that.

I... I am sorry to be late, Boris Lermontov.

Lady Neston was in front tonight.

She arrived this morning. She is staying for several weeks.

And Miss Page is joining her next week for a short holiday.

We seem destined to meet at railway stations.

What are you doing in Cannes? Waiting for you. Won't you sit?

But you know, my dear Vicky, how I'm always looking for great dancers.

We all have missed you.

And I was hoping that by now you would have started to miss us... a little.

I have.

You only have to say the words.

How is everybody? - Including me? INcluding you. - Never better.

How is Grischa? Always fighting with Boronskaja.

And she? Always fighting with Grischa.

And how is old Sergei? Getting younger.

And you? Getting older.

And you? You are happy?

Yes. Very happy.

As a dancer, I mean.

I haven't danced much, you know.

Oh, I know.

I know every time you have danced.

But you never stopped working? No.

You never stopped going to class? Never.

And why isn't he with you?

His opera's been accepted at Covent Garden.

It's in rehearsal now.

Would he give it up if you asked? I don't know.

You do. I wouldn't ask.

Then why is he asking you? Does he know what he is asking?

We are preparing a new ballet. We've been working for weeks.

The costumes and the decor are the most beautiful Ratov has ever done.

Grischa's full of enthusiasm. Do you know what that means?

Nobody else has ever danced The Red Shoes since you left.

Nobody else ever shall.

Put on the red shoes, Vicky... and dance for us again.

'This is the BBC Third Program.

'I am at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

'Tonight is the first night of Cupid and Psyche, 'a new opera by a young British composer Julian Craster, 'whose only well-known work has been the score for The Red Shoes.

'The Red Shoes was a great success

'when produced at Monte Carlo last year with the Ballet Lermontov, 'but has not yet been seen in this country.

'Oh. Something must have gone wrong.

'I think somebody's going to make an announcement.'

'Ladies and gentlemen, 'I regret to announce that Mr. Julian Craster the composer, 'who was to conduct his own opera, has been suddenly taken ill.

'Sir Hartley Menzies will conduct in his place.'

'Here comes Sir Hartley Menzies now.'

'I'll announce the cast at the interval.'

All the way down from London, I wondered if I'd find you here.

And here you are.

So you left your first night? Yes.

Oh, Julian.

Why didn't you?

This is all that matters.

All right, love, my sweetheart.

There's a train to Paris at 8.00. We'll be on it together.

Better hurry and get changed.

But I'm dancing tonight. Walk out.

Good evening, Mr. Craster.

Won't they be missing you at Covent Garden?

Leave me alone, both of you!

Please, Julian, wait until after the performance. it'll be too late then.

You're already too late, Mr. Craster. Tell him why you've left him.

I haven't left him! Oh, yes.

Nobody can have two lives - yours is dancing.

Vicky, you can dance anywhere else in the whole world.

Would you be satisfied with less than the best?

If so, you'd never be a great artist, perhaps you never will be.

Would you make her a great dancer as well?


Why do you think I've waited day after day since you snatched her away from me, for a chance to win her back?

Because you're jealous of her. Yes!

I am... but in a way that you will never understand.


Well, Vicky?

I love you, Julian! Nobody but you!

But you love that more.

I don't know! I don't know.

If you go with him now, I will never take you back. Never!

Vicky, do you want to destroy our love?

Adolescent nonsense!

All right. Go, then. Go with him.

Be a faithful housewife with a crowd of screaming children!

Finish with dancing forever!

Vicky... look at me.

Goodbye, then, my darling.


Peut-on commencer l'ouverture?

Oui. Commencez. Bon. Bon. Bon.

Alors, commencez toute de suite. Vite! Vite!


Vicky. Little Vicky.

There it is, all waiting for you.

The sorrow will pass, believe me.

Life is so unimportant.

And from now onwards, you will dance... like nobody ever before.

Mon petit.

Mon petit! Ah! Monsieur Lermontov!

Mademoiselle Page!

Ladies... and gentlemen!

I'm sorry... to tell you...

that Miss Page... is unable... to dance... tonight...

Nor indeed...

any other nights.

Nevertheless... we've decided...

to present... The Red Shoes!

It... is... the ballet...

that made her name...

whose name... she made.

We... present it...

because... we think...

she would have... wished it.

Pas d'espoir.


Yes, my darling?

Take off the red shoes.