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Bluebeard's Castle PG rating

Discover a ‘lost’ masterpiece from acclaimed director Michael Powell (The Red Shoes and Peeping Tom), with this stunning adaptation of Béla Bartok’s expressionist opera.

Performance 1963 62 mins

Director: Michael Powell


Starring Norman Foster as the murderous Bluebeard and Ana Raquel Satre as his doomed wife, Judith, this boldly original production was made for West German television in 1963. Combining outstanding performances with spectacular production designs (by Academy Award-winner Hein Heckroth), Powell concocts a daring and inventive interpretation of this haunting work, equal to the creative innovation of the iconic The Tales of Hoffmann. Unavailable for many years, Bluebeard’s Castle has been painstakingly restored by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, and is presented here – on its 60th anniversary - in Powell's preferred, revised 1978 edition featuring limited English subtitles added by Powell.

Bluebeard’s Castle is performed in German and presented without English subtitles for the libretto. This was the choice of director Michael Powell who wanted audiences to be immersed in the film’s imagery and music. In 1978, Powell created limited English narrative subtitles that set the scene and provide context where he felt audiences might require additional information. Michael Powell’s original English subtitles have been reproduced by Randall Balsmeyer.