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Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 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.

FILM INFO​




  • United Kingdom
  • 1951
  • 133 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #317


SPECIAL FEATURES​




  • 4K digital restoration by The Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive, in association with STUDIOCANAL, featuring newly rediscovered footage and with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1992 by filmmaker Martin Scorsese and critic Bruce Eder, newly updated by Eder
  • nterview with filmmaker George A. Romero from 2005
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1956), a short musical film based on the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe story and directed by Michael Powell
  • Collection of production designer Hein Heckroth’s design sketches and paintings
  • Gallery of production and publicity photographs
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Plus: An essay by film historian Ian Christie

    Cover based on a theatrical poster by Hein Heckroth

    June 7, 2022
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Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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PMF

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A most eagerly awaited BD.

A Day One purchase for me.

And a Thank You to The Film Foundation.

NOTE: I’m in agreement with HTF member bujaki. Additionally, if a 4K/UHD is ultimately viable, it would’ve been nice to have it from out of the gate, as a future double-dip would prove to be frustrating for those of us who already in support of Criterion’s new program.
.
 
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Richard M S

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I have been waiting for this version with the newly-discovered footage for years. My guess is this is the same version Thelma Schoonmaker introduced and discussed at the Walter Reade 5-10 years ago.

This blu-ray is an absolute Day 1 purchase for me.
 

darkrock17

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I have been waiting for this version with the newly-discovered footage for years. My guess is this is the same version Thelma Schoonmaker introduced and discussed at the Walter Reade 5-10 years ago.

This blu-ray is an absolute Day 1 purchase for me.

Why would someone be discussing a film at hospital in MD?
 

bujaki

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What was the recently discovered lost footage? It appears that the new edition will run for 13 minutes longer than the UK Blu ray. Tantalising....
The press release's time is listed as 133 minutes, same as the Studio Canal region B release.
This new edition is longer than the old Criterion DVD. Maybe that's what they mean by new footage.
 

lark144

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The press release's time is listed as 133 minutes, same as the Studio Canal region B release.
This new edition is longer than the old Criterion DVD. Maybe that's what they mean by new footage.
I talked to Bruce Eder about this last week. He recorded new commentary to go with the additional footage which wasn't on the Criterion DVD--and he said they did a lot more work on the master, and it looks amazing. Whether that additional work is worth double dipping I don't know, for I thought the Studio Canal Blu looked close to perfect. As for me, I collect and listen to Bruce's commentaries--so I'll be buying it again.
 

Darby67

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What was the recently discovered lost footage? It appears that the new edition will run for 13 minutes longer than the UK Blu ray. Tantalising....
Anthony:

The 2015 restored version runs 136 minutes, including a final credits sequence of all the performers and singers, not seen in any previous releases; Studio Canal released a Blu-ray of the restored version in Region B on 3/23/15 and now Criterion is finally releasing this version stateside.

Sean
 
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AnthonyClarke

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I checked my Studio Canal version and it is indeed the complete restored version with all the previously missing footage. So no need to double-dip, fortunately for my wallet! And yes, the transfer is very pleasing.
 

ABaglivi

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The Studio Canal Tales of Hoffmann disc is a stunner, however, it is still missing approx. 5 minutes from the original 138 running time which did not include the cast/epilogue. SC restoration team at the time stated that
"we did not find everything." See the discussion on this site at the time of the British Blu release.
 

Matt Hough

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I talked to Bruce Eder about this last week. He recorded new commentary to go with the additional footage which wasn't on the Criterion DVD--and he said they did a lot more work on the master, and it looks amazing. Whether that additional work is worth double dipping I don't know, for I thought the Studio Canal Blu looked close to perfect. As for me, I collect and listen to Bruce's commentaries--so I'll be buying it again.
Bruce is absolutely one of the best of the best of commentators. You can never go wrong with one of his commentaries.
 

lark144

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Bruce is absolutely one of the best of the best of commentators. You can never go wrong with one of his commentaries.
I tell Bruce that, and he gets a sheepish grin, and says, "Oh, they're not that good." But they are. I don't listen to commentaries. I don't like them. They do nothing for me. But I listen to his, multiple times.