Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus) 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. With every shot and cut imagined as a visualization of the music, the film has been cited by Martin Scorsese as a major influence on his editing of Raging Bull. Even more surprisingly, horror icon George Romero has often called The Tales of Hoffman his favorite film and the one that inspired him to make movies of his own. “You have to see it to believe it.”—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.
The Tales of Hoffman
Sponsored by Peter & Nancy Rabinowitz
U.K. 1951 – DCP – 127 Minutes
Directors, Producers: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the stories of E.T.A. Hoffman; English libretto by Dennis Arundell
Cast: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounsesville, Ludmilla Tcherina
Print Courtesy: Rialto Pictures. Restored by the Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive, in association with StudioCanal. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Franco-American Cultural Fund, the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, and the Film Foundation.