The Tales of Hoffmann (film)

The Tales Of Hoffmann (Film)

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The Tales of Hoffmann (film)

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The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers. The film stars Moira Shearer, Robert Helpmann, and Léonide Massine, and features Robert Rounseville, Pamela Brown, Ludmilla Tchérina, and Ann Ayars. It uses a soundtrack recorded for the film conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham; principal singers are Bond, Ayars, Grandi, Rounseville, and Dargavel; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays. The film's production team includes cinematographer Christopher Challis and production and costume designer Hein Heckroth, who was nominated for two 1952 Academy Awards for his work. It is not just a film of a staged opera, but a true cinematic opera that makes use of film techniques not available in an opera house.


In a tavern in Nuremberg, the young Hoffmann (Robert Rounseville) tells three stories of past loves (played by Moira Shearer, Ludmilla Tchérina, and Ann Ayars). He recounts the stories during the interval of a ballet, which stars his new love Stella (also played by Shearer). Léonide Massine and Robert Helpmann have roles in each story.


Though the original French libretto is presented in English translation, the film is relatively faithful to the traditional adaptations of Offenbach's last opera, and incorporates his unfinished score with the thread of the...
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