The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 355
Most baby-boomers are familiar with the Powell-Pressburger production of the Offenbach opera Tales of Hoffman only through the full-color stills from the film which were reproduced in the "Motion Picture" section of The World Book Encyclopedia. If this is your only memory of the film, we advise you to seek out a copy of this lengthy but visually enthralling picture as soon as possible. Metropolitan opera star Robert Rounseville plays Hoffman, a university student who is spectacularly unlucky in
Apr 4, 1951 Wide
Nov 22, 2005
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One of the most completely realized marriages of color, movement, and music in the medium's history.
Hard to take, despite the clear personal commitment of director Michael Powell and the enormous amount of talent on display in the photography, set design, and choreography.
As intensely expressionistic as any film since Caligari, and at the same time a veritable nova of springtime élan, the movie inhabits a unique puppet-theater universe, and could seduce a eunuch.
While the dizzying array of design elements and magnificent vocal performances is impressive, 138 minutes is just too long to keep the interest of any but the pure opera devotee.
Lavishly mounted with some of the same actors of The Red Shoes, this filmed operetta is more impressive in its production design (Oscar nominated) than emotional impact.
As with The Red Shoes, the Archers achieve a truly amazing fantasy world, almost like a cartoon in which anything is possible.
For all the spectacle, it is more abstract than involving and the film never pumps with the blood of romantic passion that flows through so many Powell movies.
The result is a testament to both [Powell and Pressburger's] creativity and the inherent limitations of trying to transform one medium into another.
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- The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) (UK)