The Tales of Hoffman (1951)

Powell and Pressburger direct Robert Helpmann, Ludmilla Tchérina and Moira Shearer in this cinematic opera following the three fantastical romances of a gothic poet.

I ain’t an opera guy. I found massive swathes of this indecipherable. Yet I let the stunning visuals wash over me. They are camp, chintzy, horrific and gaudy. Moira Shearer as always is delectable, and gets loads of opportunities to show off her balletic prowess. You are going to see things here no other film has ever attempted. Dreamscapes. Yet I couldn’t recount the plot to you for toffee.

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