3 user 3 critic

Herzog Blaubarts Burg (1963)

Based on the Bela Bartok opera, Bluebeard woos his women and then swiftly disposes of them.


Michael Powell


Béla Balázs (opera)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Grenadier Guards Captain John Fellowes prepares for the Trooping the Colour ceremony and reminisces about his years at Sandhurst Military Academy as well as his family's dramatic life.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Daniel Massey, Raymond Massey, Robert Stephens
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Nino Culotta is an Italian immigrant who arrived in Australia with the promise of a job as a journalist on his cousin's magazine, only to find that when he gets there the magazine's folded,... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Walter Chiari, Claire Dunne, Chips Rafferty
Honeymoon (1959)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Australian famer Kit Kelly and his new bride Anna are driving through Europe when they help a stranded motorist. They discover he is Antonio, a famous dancer. Upon learning that Anna was a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Anthony Steel, Ludmilla Tchérina, Antonio
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Essentially a rerelease of Michael Powell's 'The Edge of the World' (1937), but with color book-ends in which director and actors revisit the island of Foula forty years later and talk about their experiences.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Michael Powell, John Laurie, Frankie Reidy
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo, Egypt to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A grizzled Australian painter decides to jolt his stale creativity in a remote island on the Great Barrier Reef, where he meets an alluring young islander who becomes his enchanting model. Could the untamed girl be his long-awaited muse?

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: James Mason, Helen Mirren, Jack MacGowran
Fantasy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tchérina
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Niven, Margaret Leighton, Cyril Cusack
Blackout (1940)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Early in World War II, Danish sea captain Andersen, delayed in a British port, tangles with German spies.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Hay Petrie
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A re-editing of Gone to Earth (1950) after a disagreement and court case between director Michael Powell and producer David O. Selznick. Selznick's changes are mainly:- (1) Adding a ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price
Hour of Glory (1949)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As the Germans drop explosive booby-traps on Britain in 1943, the embittered expert who'll have to disarm them fights a private battle with alcohol.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron


Credited cast:
Norman Foster Norman Foster ... Bluebeard
Ana Raquel Satre Ana Raquel Satre ... Judit


Based on the Bela Bartok opera, Bluebeard woos his women and then swiftly disposes of them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






West Germany



Release Date:

9 November 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bluebeard's Castle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Version of Duke Bluebeard's Castle (1988) See more »


Opera music
Composed by Béla Bartók
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Enter the Mind of a Madman...
17 December 2003 | by dwingroveSee all my reviews

Cinephile wisdom has it that Michael Powell made his final masterpiece, Peeping Tom, in 1960 - only to dwindle into rapid and irreversible decline. In fact, this cinematic wizard did make one more staggering film. Bluebeard's Castle, a film of an opera by Bela Bartok, was shot for German TV and has never (to my knowledge) had a screen or video release. Yet its blend of sadistic voyeurism and Gothic visual frenzy makes it a great 'last will and testament' by Powell, who was a master of both.

In Powell's mise-en-scene (as in the libretto by Bela Balazs, a pioneer film theorist) Count Bluebeard is not a sneering fairytale villain. He's a man of refined taste, whose sheer aesthetic adoration of his brides compels him to kill - to reduce the women he loves to lifeless statues. He's in a direct line of descent from Conrad Veidt as the evil magician in Thief of Baghdad, Anton Walbrook as the demonic ballet impresario in The Red Shoes and, indeed, Karl Bohm as the homicidal photographer in Peeping Tom.

Unlike the women in those earlier films, Bluebeard's new wife Judith is no hapless victim - flailing about like a butterfly stuck through with a pin. She is, rather, a strong-willed and ruthless manipulator of her crazed husband. One by one, she wheedles out of him the keys to his seven secret chambers. In a horrifying way, she colludes in her own demise.

This tormented couple are the only live beings onscreen, yet the sets and costumes seem to writhe with a life all their own. A hall of Expressionist sculptures loom like twisted, frozen gargoyles. A jungle of artificial flowers sheds it radiant petals, as Bluebeard and his bride make love on a vast purple bed. Given this film's intimate scale, designer/painter Hein Heckroth outdoes even his own work on Powell's 1951 opera epic Tales of Hoffmann.

Best of all, Bluebeard's Castle passes the test of any truly great opera production - making us listen raptly to music we might not otherwise care for. I've never been a Bartok fan, but his score won me over because every note was matched so perfectly by the images and the drama onscreen.

Not only does this hour-long tour de force point back to Powell's great work of the 40s and 50s. It also looks forward to some of my favourite films in later decades, notably Carmelo Bene's Salome and Matthew Barney's Cremaster 5. What more could an obsessive film and opera buff ever want?

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed