The Tales of Hoffmann

The Tales of Hoffmann

A Fantastic Opera

DVD - 2005
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Powell and Pressburger merge film with opera and dance to tell the tale of a poet who dreams of three women who all break his heart. He tells "the three tales of my folly of love"-- in Paris, when he fancied himself in love with Olympia, who turned out to be a life-sized doll; in Venice, when bewitched by a beautiful courtesan; and on a Grecian isle, in love with daughter of a singer and conductor.


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May 20, 2016

The dynamic duo of classic British cinema, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, team up once again with the legendary “Archers” production company for this sumptuous screen adaptation of Offenbach’s opera. Apparently the film that prompted George Romero to enter the business and now painstakingly restored by the Martin Scorsese Film Foundation, Powell & Pressburger’s gloriously overdone opus, presented with an English libretto, overflows with striking images: a swirl of dancing marionettes comes to life; a soundstage Venice is all gauzy backdrops and guttering candles; and a lonely Greek isle is lifted straight from a classical painting. But the elaborately camp set designs and extravagant performances, all presented in eye-gouging Technicolor, limit this one to diehard fans of opera and ballet as well as those who love a bit of fey cinema now and again. The music is magnificent however, and star Moira Shearer’s ballet sequences alone are worth a look.

Nov 12, 2015

This stage rendition by director Michael Powell is strictly for lovers of opera and ballet only. I don't fall in that category, so quickly gave up watching it.

Jun 19, 2014

Although directed by the always interesting Michael Powell way back in 1951, this colorful production of Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman often has a modern, avant-garde feel. My wife, more tuned in to opera than I enjoyed it as well, but we both found ourselves tiring of it before the end. Recorded (or filmed) opera doesn't have quite the emotional resonance as a live performance. Still, this is well done and worth a viewing.

hania4987 Mar 06, 2014

a fantasy staging of a fantasy opera. Filled with incredible images and spectacular cinematography, it's a must-see for lovers of musical theater and film buffs.

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