Based on Jacques Offenbach's opera of the stories of romantic poet E.T.A. Hoffmann. "The Tales of Hoffmann" gave close collaborators Michael Powell and Emeric Bressburger another opportunity to eschew realism and celebrate artifice and creativity. In "Black Narcissus", Powell had worked closely with composer Brian Easdale to create an extended sequence in which sound and image were intimately intert wined. The ballet sequences of "The Red Shoes" offered an obvious arena into which to continue this experiment, culminating in "The Tales of Hoffmann", in which the entire film is shaped by Offenbach's score, given a rousing rendition by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of the legendary Sir Thomas Beecham. The choreography, courtesy of Jane Ashton is equally inspired, resulting in a charming fantasy that's a triumph of design and a sumptuous feast for the senses.