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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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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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 »
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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