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The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

Not Rated | | Fantasy, Music, Musical | 13 June 1952 (USA)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
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:

Dennis Arundell (English libretto), Jules Barbier (from the French text by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Moira Shearer ... Stella / Olympia
Ludmilla Tchérina ... Giulietta
Ann Ayars ... Antonia
Pamela Brown ... Nicklaus
Léonide Massine ... Spalanzani / Schlemil / Franz
Robert Helpmann ... Lindorf / Coppelius / Dapertutto / Dr Miracle
Frederick Ashton Frederick Ashton ... Kleinsach / Cochenille
Mogens Wieth Mogens Wieth ... Crespel
Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville ... Hoffmann
Lionel Harris Lionel Harris ... Pitichinaccio
Philip Leaver ... Andrés
Meinhart Maur Meinhart Maur ... Luther
Edmond Audran Edmond Audran ... Partner to Stella in Dragonfly Ballet
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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 (38) »

Taglines:

You Will Never See Anything Finer On The Screen!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Antonia's island bears a strong resemblance to the island in the painting "Isle of the Dead" by Swiss symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901). 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.
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Alternate Versions

The complete 138-minute version was available in 16mm black and white early television prints. The complete 138-minute version was also available in 16mm Kodachrome (color) rental prints. The complete 138-minute soundtrack was available for many years on LP (London Records). See more »

Connections

Version of Les contes d'Hoffmann (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
What a gorgeous film!
1 June 2004 | by SHADO57See all my reviews

I saw this film when it first came out and was overwhelmed by the music (by Jacques Offenbach) and the gorgeous 3-strip Technicolor. I even bought the LP soundtrack album (twice). When the Criterion laserdisc version came out, I forked out beaucoup bucks for it -- and was not disappointed! I suspect this film was the first music video, for all the sound (singing and music) was pre-recorded, which gave it a more pure quality. Nearly all the on-camera players were ballet stars, who lip-synced singing by opera stars! It is an opera, after all, so perhaps it could be accused of being a bit stagey, but so what!! It is a pure delight, and I am now happy to report that Criterion has released the DVD! It has been restored and digitally remastered for a truly glorious presentation. Comments by Martin Scorcese only add to the release!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los cuentos de Hoffman See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,340, 15 March 2015

Gross USA:

$91,930

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,860
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (reduced to 128 mins before release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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