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The Tales of Hoffmann

In The Tales of Hoffmann, directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger are at their most flamboyant and spectacular. Riding high after The Red Shoes, with its dream-like central ballet sequence, they set about creating a film like no other, their entirely cinematic version of Jacques Offenbach’s musical tale of a lovelorn poet suffering for his art. The film reunites many of the dancers (Ludmilla Tcherina, Moira Shearer, Robert Helpmann and Léonide Massine) from The Red Shoes, and designer Hein Heckroth is tasked with creating a Technicolor world that is romantic, gothic, fantastical, and nowhere realistic.