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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 and 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

Robert Rounseville (Hoffmann) and Ann Ayars (Antonia) are the only performers in the film who both appear on screen and do their own singing. Every other character is dubbed. See more »

Goofs

15 minutes in, in the close-up of Lindorf as he spies on Hoffmann and the students, the edge of Robert Helpmann's fake scalp is visible under his hairpiece. 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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Crazy Credits

In the end credits, main actors appear taking curtain calls next to the singers who dubbed them. See more »

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 (2003) 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

 
A nice two hours
6 July 2000 | by TravisD-2See all my reviews

I liked the Red Shoes more, but Tales of Hoffmann is still an excellent Powell & Pressburger movie. While I did have trouble understanding the English opera (my first one at that), the episode character lists really helped. It's interesting to note that as Hoffmann tells his tales, the women in each episode become more "real." It did seem to drag on a bit at times, but I think it might be one of those movies that looks better with a second or third viewing. Still a wonderful and dazzling movie with amazing set & costume designs & expertly directed.


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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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