Tales of Hoffmann [Criterion Collection]

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amg_video.v73712 11/22/05 Used
$37.39 $43.99

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Synopsis

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 affairs of the heart. Each of his love affairs with Olympia (Moira Shearer), Giulietta (Ludmilla Tcherina) and Antonia (Ann Ayars) is doomed to failure due to circumstances far beyond our hero's control (Olympia, for example, turns out to be nothing more than a life-sized mechanical doll). As in the previous Powell-Pressburger collaboration The Red Shoes, the film's best moments are its ballet sequences, choreographed by Jane Ashton. Offenbach's score is given a splendid rendition by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of the legendary Sir Thomas Beecham. Most prints of Tales of Hoffman run 118 minutes, eliminating the closing "Tale of Antonia" sequence; the laserdisc version has been restored to 127 minutes, while the search goes on for the complete 138-minute negative. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
11/22/05 
Studio
Criterion
Aspect Ratio
1.33:1 -- Pre-1954 Standard (4x3)
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
2 hours, 7 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video 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 stroy
  • Rare collection of production designer Heim Heckroth's sketches and paintings
  • Gallery of archival production and publicity photographs
  • Original English Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Plus: a new essay by film historian Ian Christie
Number of Discs
1

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