The Tales of Hoffmann Film Still

The Tales of Hoffmann

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

 
The Tales of Hoffmann (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Out of Print
  • United Kingdom
  • 1951
  • 127 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #317

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind take on a classic story. In Jacques Offenbach’s fantasy opera The Tales of Hoffmann, a poet dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger’s feverishly romantic adaptation is a feast of music, dance, and visual effects, and one of the most exhilarating opera films ever produced.

Cast

HoffmannRobert Rounseville
Stella/His Ladylove/Olympia Moira Shearer
NicklausPamela Brown
CancerEdmond Audran
Councillor Lindorf/Coppelius/Dapertutto/Dr. Miracle Robert Helpmann
LutherMeinhart Maur
Kleinzach/CochenilleFrederick Ashton
AndreasPhilip Leaver
NathanielJohn Ford
Spalanzani/Schlemil/FranzLéonide Massine
Bank clerkAlan Carter
GiuliettaLudmilla Tchérina
PitichinaccioLionel Harris
AntoniaAnn Ayars
CrespelMogens Wieth

Credits

DirectorMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Written, produced, and directed byMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Based on the opera byJacques Offenbach
English libretto byDennis Arundell
Musical directorSir Thomas Beecham
CinematographyChristopher Challis
Art directorArthur Lawson
EditingReginald Mills
Associate producerGeorge Busby
Assistant directorSydney Streeter
ChoreographyFrederick Ashton
Assistant choreographersAlan Carter and Joan Harris
Recorded byTed Drake
Camera operatorFreddie Francis
Production designHein Heckroth

Disc Features

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by director Martin Scorsese and film music historian Bruce Eder
  • New video interview with director George A. Romero
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1956), a short musical film directed by Michael Powell, based on the Goethe story
  • Rare collection of production designer Hein Heckroth’s design sketches and paintings
  • Gallery of archival production and publicity photographs
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Plus: a new essay by film historian Ian Christie

    Cover based on a theatrical poster by Hein Heckroth

Film Essays

Tales from the Lives of Marionettes

By Ian ChristieNovember 21, 2005

Why would a filmmaker simply film an opera? Many admirers of Michael Powell’s have assumed . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Tales of Hoffmann

By Bruce EderJune 16, 1992

Of the 18 movies made by the filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, none . . . Read more »

Features

Heckroth-post-404_thumbnail

Gothic Riots: The Work of Hein Heckroth

By Andrew MoorNovember 30, 2009

The following essay was originally written for Criterion’s website in 2005, on the occasion . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Tales from the Lives of Marionettes

By Ian ChristieNovember 21, 2005

Why would a filmmaker simply film an opera? Many admirers of Michael Powell’s have assumed . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Tales of Hoffmann

By Bruce EderJune 16, 1992

Of the 18 movies made by the filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, none . . . Read more »

Other Editions

The Tales of Hoffmann (Essential Art House DVD)

Essential Art House DVD

1 Disc

Out of Print
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