Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $3.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Color:
  • The Tales of Hoffmann (The Criterion Collection)
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player
      

The Tales of Hoffmann (The Criterion Collection)


Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Amazon Price New from Used from
DVD 1-Disc Version
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Product Details

  • Actors: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tchérina, Ann Ayars, Pamela Brown
  • Directors: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
  • Writers: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell, Dennis Arundell, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Jules Barbier
  • Format: Classical, Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008YOFG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,386 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Tales of Hoffmann (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In Jacques Offenbach's fantasy opera, the poet E.T.A. Hoffmann dreams of three women - a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren who steals his reflection, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer - all of whom break his heart in different

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend the DVD edition of Criterion.
Salvador Fortuny Miró
This allowed the filmmakers total freedom to do what they wanted from a visual standpoint as cameras and performers could be manuevered without fear of making noise.
Chip Kaufmann
Costumes and sets are spectacular, singing and acting are excellent.
A. BOSS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on November 28, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a member of a couple of film societies I'm often asked "What is your favorite film?". To which I usually respond that I like many different films each having its own merits and I can't really choose just one. Yet if I had to take one film to a desert island it would be this one, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1951 extravaganza THE TALES OF HOFFMANN. No other film has managed to combine most of my favorite elements the way this one has. It has fantasy, classical music, dance, stunning camerawork, editing, and imaginative visuals all blended into a seamless whole. In fact this film is really the first music video as the score was recorded first and then the movie was shot to fit it afterwards which makes it essentially a silent film. This allowed the filmmakers total freedom to do what they wanted from a visual standpoint as cameras and performers could be manuevered without fear of making noise. I think I can safely say that no other film looks like this one.

It also doesn't hurt that Jacques Offenbach's opera on which this is based is one of my favorite classical works (although this version edited by Sir Thomas Beecham is not for opera purists) while E.T.A. Hoffmann is one of my favorite fantasy writers (three of his stories THE SANDMAN, A NEW YEAR'S EVE ADVENTURE and RATH KRESPEL are used). This makes it even more remarkable that a single film could do justice to so many of my favorite likes. The new DVD release from Criterion is up to their usual high standards offering a crystal clear picture with excellent sound plus a host of extras including subtitles for all the dialogue and arias which enable you to understand what is going on with the story. I have had this film on VHS for years and have waited patiently for it to come out on DVD.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Rene on October 2, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
It is true that, as other reviewrs have asserted, this may not be "Tales" as Offenbach originally concieved it. A case can be made that the current 2nd act was originally intended as the final act. (where can you go after loosing and retrieving your soul?). And the english translation used in the film has some awkward phrasing - Crespel to Antonia: "Now did you not swear that that you'd not do?". This said, The film nevertheless stands as a brilliant, imaginative interpretation in its own right.
The current issue on VHS states that it restores scenes eliminated prior to its release. This is not the case. (I attended the initial release in Southern California). The restored scenes are those eliminated from the film for its application to U.S. television release - a real hatchet job to its last act. As might have been expected it had no home on American TV.
In addition to making it whole with the initial theatrical presentation color has been substantially improved as compared with the original VHS release. This makes it true to what was seen in comercial release and well worth the price of admission.
However, there are still scenes tantalizingly referenced in the video packaging which wound up on the cutting-room floor before comercial release of the film and which do not appear on the VHS video. First is Franz's aria "Day & Night I Am Always Slaving" and brief exchanges with Crespel which serve to establish his deafness (These can be heard on the London LP recording of the sound track, and a still of Massine during this aria appeared in the color program which was sold at the Premier). Second was the scene in which Nicklaus became Hoffmann's golden-gilded muse.
Should this film be released on DVD, which it certainly deserves to be, some effort should be made to find these missing pieces so the film can finally be seen as Powell & Pressburger originally intended.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By C. Boerger on October 20, 2005
Format: DVD
I saw Tales of Hoffmann years ago at an arts center in Columbus and fell in love with it. While this film is responsible for engendering in me a great affection for opera, and while Offenbach's music is lovely, powerful and timeless, this is more about the brilliance of filmmakers Powell and Pressburger than it is about the brilliance of the composer. If you want to see a great production of the opera, watch the Kultur DVD staged at the Royal Opera House by John Schlesinger. If you want to see a glorious example of cinema that just happens to have great music, then watch this film.

The sets, costumes, acting and choreography are colorful, surreal and almost unbearably beautiful. Director Powell must have empathized with the protoganist Hoffmann's plight of lost love, because there is a romantic aching to this film that transcends music, that is entirely visual. As much as I love Offenbach, watching this film with the sound off would be almost as entertaining.

Other attempts have been made to transfer opera to film, but most of them come off as just that, filmed opera, not especially cinematic, too respectful of the music to take chances. Rarely has a filmmaker utilized the full potential of film while making a movie of an opera. Zefferelli's La Traviata and Bergman's The Magic Flute are a couple of the success stories. But this is the greatest of them all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Galina on May 4, 2007
Format: DVD
"The Tales of Hoffmann" (1951) - a beautifully photographed film version of Jacques Offenbach's opera, his final masterpiece is a magic (and there is no other word to describe it) blend of Adventure / Romance / Fantasy / with an endless stream of gorgeous melodies, seductive and tender love scenes, bizarre characters - comic, romantic or villainous, and tragic climaxes. The film was a follow-up to "The Red Shoes" (1948) a fantasy/musical/romance/drama set in the world of ballet with the same directors, stars, and production designers.

In "The Tales of Hoffmann", Robert Rounsevill stars as E.T.A. (Ernst Theodore Amadeus) Hoffmann, the poet and writer who tells three stories of his great but unhappy loves all ending tragically thanks to the meddling of his enemy, a supernatural villain (Robert Helpmann as quadruple evil, Lindorf, Coppelius, Dapertutto and Dr Miracle). Objects of Hoffmann's love and admiration include Olympia the wind-up doll (Moira Shearer who also plays Stella the dancer, the fourth and yet another Hoffmann's misadventure), Giulietta, the Venetian courtesan who sails away after trying to capture Hoffmann's soul (Ludmilla Tchérina -absolutely brilliant as the siren and the seductress who elegantly walks over the dead bodies, literally), and Antonia the beautiful opera-singer with the fatal voice and deadly illness. One of the greatest choreographers and dancers of the last century, Léonide Massine shines in three absolutely different roles demonstrating his talent as a dancer, strong emotions and tremendous humor.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums

Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions