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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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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In the end credits, main actors appear taking curtain calls next to the singers who dubbed them. See more »
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 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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