Moira Shearer & Robert Helpmann in The Red Shoes (1948, dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (via)
I am often asked why The Red Shoes, of all our films, became such a success in every country of the world. More than a success, it became a legend. Even today, I am constantly meeting men and women who claimed that it changed their lives. This is natural enough for women who were girls at the time, and who were growing up in countries that had been wracked by war. But my friend Ron Kitaj, who was thinking of becoming an art student at the time, has told me the same thing. It changed my direction, he said. It gave art a new meaning to me.
These are personal reactions, but I think that the real reason why The Red Shoes was such a success was that we had all been told for ten years to go out and die for freedom and democracy, for this and for that, and now that the war was over, The Red Shoes told us to go out and die for art.
-excerpted from Michael Powells A Life in Movies