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The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

Not Rated  |   |  Fantasy, Music, Musical  |  13 June 1952 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,635 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 43 critic

A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Writers:

(English libretto), (from the French text by), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ludmilla Tchérina ...
Ann Ayars ...
Pamela Brown ...
Léonide Massine ...
...
Frederick Ashton ...
Kleinsach / Cochenille
Mogens Wieth ...
Robert Rounseville ...
Lionel Harris ...
Philip Leaver ...
Meinhart Maur ...
Edmond Audran ...
Partner to Stella in Dragonfly ballet
Edit

Storyline

This a film version of the opera "The Tales of Hoffmann", however it is NOT just a film of a staged performance. 'Michael Powell' & Emeric Pressburger (and the rest of "The Archers") work their usual magic here. The opera dramatises the three great romances in the life of the poet-hero presented in a series of flashbacks. Hoffmann's tales depict the struggle between human love and the artist's dedication to his work. Hoffmann loses each of the women he loves but gains instead poetic inspiration -- the ability to transform painful experiences into art. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poet | dance | ballet | singing | dancing | See All (36) »

Taglines:

You Will Never See Anything Finer On The Screen!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hoffmanns Erzählungen  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,340 (USA) (13 March 2015)

Gross:

$74,369 (USA) (17 April 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(reduced to 128 mins before release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Powell began the project after hearing Thomas Beecham playing the score on piano and singing all of the parts. See more »

Goofs

Giulietta's necklace is turned from jewels to wax by Dapertutto, however, in a longer shot, it is briefly shown as jewels again, before a close-up, where it is wax again until Dapertutto changes it back to jewels. See more »

Quotes

Chorus of Students: Some drink, drink, drink, drink, drink: do you hear us about? You lazy lout! We want some beer; we want some wine! Pour out the wine, and drink and drink till morning. Pour out the wine for drinking is divine. It is divine. We want some beer; we want some wine. We want some beer; we want some wine.
See more »

Connections

Version of Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, A Fantastic Opera
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Arranged by Thomas Beecham (uncredited)
English libretto by Dennis Arundell
From the French text by Jules Barbier
Conductor: Thomas Beecham (as Sir Thomas Beecham Bart.) with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Sung by Robert Rounseville, Dorothy Bond, Margherita Grandi, Ann Ayars (as Ann Ayars), Monica Sinclair, Joan Alexander, Grahame Clifford, Bruce Dargavel, Murray Dickie, Owen Brannigan, Fisher Morgan, Rene Soames, and The Sadler's Wells Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breathtaking Total Theater.
23 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rational? I cannot be rational about this mad cinematic gem. I was spellbound as a child watching it over and over again on the Million Dollar Movie (on B&W TV, no less!) Like Martin Scorcese's mother, mine too would call from the kitchen (when I was sneaking yet another look) "Turn that off! You watched it yesterday and the day before. Now we've heard enough of that thing!"

Run, do not walk, to purchase the newly released Criterion DVD. It is worth every penny. Never has the color been so lush and the detail so finally delineated. And I know, I have pursued (rare) showings of this film nearly all my 50 years. If you think you've seen Hoffman before, wait until you see this!


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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