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The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

Not Rated | | Fantasy, Music, Musical | 13 June 1952 (USA)
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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 »
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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 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 (37) »

Taglines:

You Will Never See Anything Finer On The Screen!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (reduced to 128 mins before release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George A. Romero, writer/director of Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) has cited this as his all-time favorite movie, saying that it was the one that originally inspired him to get into filmmaking. See more »

Goofs

During Olympia's song, Moira Shearer isn't miming for quite lengthy sections - as she is pirouetting quite fast in some of these sections, it is understandable that she'd want to concentrate on her balance. 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 »

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

Featured in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bravo, Tales of Hoffmann!
28 December 2004 | by guidon7See all my reviews

What a splendid film is this combination of opera and ballet for those partial to this type of fare. The performance of Robert Helpmann in four roles is exceptional and dancer Leonid Massine makes a chilling villain as Schlemil in the utterly fantastic "Tale of Giuletta". Ludmilla Tcherina as Giuletta is an alluring sex-goddess and enslaver of men. I am totally absorbed whenever I watch this episode. Having said all this, I must also say that the "Tale of Antonia" is a severe letdown after the two preceding episodes. It is not just the film version that is bad -- it was actually a letdown the first time I saw the opera live at the old Metropolitan Opera 45 years ago. Actually, there have been suggestions that the "Antonia" episode be moved from last to first episode sequentially in the opera, however I doubt if this would make a significant improvement. If I am correct, the "Antonia" episode was completed by another composer, Offenbach having died before completing Tales of Hoffmann. Ahhh...that hauntingly beautiful "Barcarolle"....nothing can compare to it!! And the film version is just icing on the cake.


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