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The Magic Flute (The Criterion Collection) (Full Screen)


Price: CDN$ 32.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ulrik Cold, Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson
  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Writers: Ingmar Bergman, Alf Henrikson, Emanuel Schikaneder
  • Producers: Måns Reuterswärd
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: May 16 2000
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780023080
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,395 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By True North on Feb. 17 2009
Format: DVD
I can't fathom all of the positive reviews. The singers who perform Tamino and the Queen of the Night are very weak - I can't tolerate singers who can't sing in tune.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Garret on Jan. 20 2003
Format: VHS Tape
The Magic Flute, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's last opera, is a multi-layered Singspiel opera that is accessible to children as well as adults. It is an allegory of good versus evil, layed with Freemason ideals, and scored by Mozart's most sublime music. Ingmar Bergman filmed a live performance in a Stockholm theater in Sweden. The singers are singing in Swedish, not its original German, and the camera provides glimpses of going ons backstage and shots of the audience, focusing especially on a red-haired girl who is deeply engaged in the opera. This way, Bergman makes opera a dramatic experience. At times, it feels as if we are not watching an opera at all, but a play. The Swedish cast is fresh, energetic and engages the audience in the fabulous story. The story should be familiar to opera buffs. Tamino, a lost prince, finds he has been commissioned to save a beautiful princess, Pamina, from the clutches of a supposed evil wizard, Sarastro, and return her to her mother the Queen of the Night. As the opera progresses, we discover that Tamino has been deceived and he is, in essence, "shown the light" of truth through the aid of the enlightened religious order of Sarastro's men. The Queen, Pamina's mother, is the villain, bent on dominating the earth, and Sarastro, Pamina's father, is a benevolent holy man who intendes to foil the dark queen's plans. The custody battle over Pamina is true to the Mozart allegory. He had Pamina represent Austria, Sarastro, the "father", was the wise ideals of Freemasonry, while the "mother" Queen of the Night is the suppression and censorship of Freemasonry by imperialist autocrats like the Empress Teresa, whom the Queen is modeled after.
Superb singing. The arias "Dies Bildnis", in which Tamino looks at a portrait of Pamina and falls in love, is well made.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 7 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The audience and behind the scenes shots made this feel like being at the opera rather than justing watching a video at home. Though performed in Swedish this was barely noticeable to the uninitiated (i.e. me) except in the dialog - and then was not distracting.
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By Peggy on May 31 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this as a gift for my Mom it is literally trash. The quality is substandard to say the least. The colour and overall clarity continually blur in and out of focus in conjunction with a strange blend of faded colors. The sub titles jostle up and down, side to side and sometimes blurred into duplication. The picture sometimes disappears entirely. My Mom had The Majic Flute in VHS and requested we make her a DVD as we own a VCR and recordable DVD player. I was concerned home made quality would not lend itself to a professional finished product. As a result I opted to purchase her a professional duplication. In the end, with the inexplicably poor quality of the purchased DVD, we duplicated our own copy at home. The quality? Perfect! I am not one to watch my pennies, quite the opposite, however given the purchashed DVD was $40.00 of trash and a gift is bothersome. There are no returns on opened DVDs. Lesson learned!
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By Mark A Badior on Feb. 12 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No, I didn't like it. Bergman totally ignores the Masonic background of the opera; the sets are unimaginative, sometimes seem more intended for a film; the continuous shots of his daughter in the audience are tiresome and ruin the continuity.
The cast was adequate, but in my opinion Sarastro did not have the gravitas required for such a dominant character.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It arrived on time and in good condition. A truly good buy. I enjoyed it very much. I have used it as an introduction to the opera for my grand children.
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Format: DVD
I found Bergman's film of Mozart's opera neither the unalloyed masterpiece of some critics,
nor the failure of others. To me it represented a perfectly enjoyable attempt to bring opera
to the masses (remember this was made for TV), while not quite being a masterwork.

There are a lot of moments of just plain fun; in the story, the singing, the costumes, the images.
But there are failed ideas as well.

Operating on a small budget, Bergman tries to walk a fine line of keeping the opera set in a theater,
while 'opening it up' with camera angles, and sets that would never work in a real theater. Not
a bad concept, but the constant cuts to audience reactions (especially those of his own daughter)
becomes increasingly distracting, and there are times where some of the theatrical artifice, seen
up close, just seems clunky, not magical.

As a result, you never can 'believe in' the story, but you also don't get the grandeur and magic of
a great stage production. You DO get an intimacy with the characters and their feelings, which is great
where those are interesting, not so good in those moments where the story itself (as opposed to
Mozart's sublime music) is a bit silly, contradictory and shallow.

NB: The film has a big note that it is "full screen' on the listing, but that doesn't
mean it was ever meant to be seen widescreen. Bergman made it for TV, long before
today's wide screen televisions. So "full screen" was how it was meant to be.
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