Here is the New York Times review of the movie version which came out
in 1959. It may be of interest to our viewers. I saw it at the time. I
wonder what became of the fifty minute Tchaikovsky documentary they
mention in the article:
It looks as though you have to be a registered user of the New York
Times Site to view this page, although registration appears to be free.
Indeed The New York Times editors are too nosey to take them
seriously. I found on the Amazon a very nice review of this opera-movie,
which can be regarded as a summary of what is presented to a viewer.
I append below that review:.
By Timothy R. Carpenter " (Philadelphia, PA)
This is one of the few opera DVDs which I am eager to watch again.
Filmed in the Russian countryside and Saint Petersburg the staging and
acting make this gorgeous production mesmerizing and emotionally
affecting. The attractive actors look and act their parts and lip-synch
convincingly. Every one of the singers is superb and the Bolshoi company
has this music in their blood. The downside is that this film has
considerable cuts—all of them internal (cuts within scenes or arias).
It's not disastrous and I guess it's better to want more than
wishing the singers would just get on with it and stop dawdling
(Fleming/Horovsky and Chilcott/Hampson). The sound is not modern
state-of-the-art, but my ears adjusted quickly to the good quality 50's
production. The color changes slightly from time to time and there are a
few extremely small hiccups during the transitions from one roll of film
to the next. For me, however, these flaws don't affect my
enjoyment of this excellent film one bit.
So, 5 stars for the singing, acting, sets and staging and 3 stars for
the (re)production values for an average of 4 stars. Wish Amazon
would provide for rating those two different values separately. Highly
recommended—plus it costs about half that of the opera house