Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Andreas Teuber, Oxford University Dramatic Society
Directors: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
The legend of Doctor Faustus is the immortal tale of a German conjurer who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for a life of adventure and excitement. Richard Burton stars as the aging scholar who makes a deal with the... more »
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Move slowly, you ever-moving spheres of heaven!
John Salonia Jr. | New Jersey | 03/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marlowe's play is the archetype and cornerstone of the deal-with-the-Devil genre, and this film embodies it in an unending visual feast. The stylized, atmospheric sets, the low-key score (creepy and yearning by turns)and inventive visuals (one example of many: Faustus' conjuration of Mephistophilis is staged on a literal stage set, yet so well-directed that it never seems "stagy")set off Marlowe's wonderful poetry as black velvet sets off a diamond. Burton gives the performance of his career: even his work in EQUUS, fine as it was, doesn't offer him the scope that Faustus gives him. There are quiet turns of effective horror (all the more unexpected for capping off an overtly comic scene), and the final descent into Hell embodies Marlowe's orignal title: "The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus." This is a tragedy of Faustus' wasted skill, talent, time and opportunities. All productions of Elizabethan dramatists should be this rich, well-directed and rewarding. Andreas Teuber as Mephistophilis steals the film with his performance as an achingly sad Mephistophilis. Truly a masterpiece."
Marlowe's work admirably brought to the screen.
Michael Ziegler | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States | 02/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1960's film featuring typical sets from the period does rather well with Marlowe's original play of the tragic decision made by a German professor to sell his soul in exchange for 4 and 20 years of self gratification. As in the original play, it is a very erudite work and features players from Oxford University as well as Burton at the height of his powers and his famous love for Elizabeth Taylor projected here in the role of Helen of Troy. A wonderful and haunting score in the opening credits and throughout the movie adds to the flavor of this intellectual delight. (The score is available on CD if you know where to look) This movie is DEEP. VERY DEEP! With lines such as "Settle thy studies Faustus, and begin to sound the depth of that thou wilt profess" Have a Latin dictionary nearby and don't let your attention wander! This movie is best seen at about 1:30AM, which is when it was usually shown on television! All kidding aside this is an interesting work and well worth your investment and time. Burton was a #1 box office draw in this era and Dr. Faustus will demonstrate why."
"Now Faustus What Would Thou Hast We Do?" ~ At What Cost Wis
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 02/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Doctor Faustus', the '68 re-visioning of the Faustus/Mephistophelian Mythos produced, directed and starring Richard Burton is somewhat of a mixed bag, moving from immensely satisfying to plodding and back again. Burton is perfect as Doctor John Faustus, the ultimate Renaissance man whose thirst for knowledge takes him beyond the confines of conventional wisdom into the forbidden mysteries which can only be accessed by a pact with the Devil in exchange for a human soul. This is the role he was was born to play, plummeting the depths of the psyche and all the angst that goes with it has always been what he does best.
Andreas Teuber's portrayal of Mephistopheles is the perfect counterbalance to the histrionic Faustus. Disturbingly quiet, attentive and thoughtful his demonic persona wavers subtly between melancholy and malignant. It's amazing how his expressionless face could convey so much unspoken meaning.
While the story is classic, the visuals at times hypnotic and Burton and Teuber superb, I found the presence of Elizabeth Taylor distracting and an unnecessary addition to the film. Aware of Richard and Liz's highly publicized love/hate relationship made her inclusion as his otherworldly lover a parody of their off-screen antics and detracted from the intended mood and mystery of the film. Fortunately this shortcoming may no longer apply to a younger generation unfamiliar with their on again off again romance.
All and all an enjoyable thought provoking film for the Faustus in all of us."
DON'T WATCH: JUST LISTEN
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 03/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Burton stars and co-directed this idiosyncratic production of DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Columbia Tristar), Christopher Marlowe's 16th century masterpiece about an aging German scholar who makes a deal with the devil for youth, knowledge, and a dazzling mistress (Elizabeth Taylor in a silent role as Helen of Troy). Filmed in the UK with supporting performances from the Oxford University Dramatic Society, this disc works better as an audio play. The music is effective and the mellifluous voice of Burton is a wonder. Now where's the uncut Brit version of Ken Russell's THE DEVILS?"