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Doctor Faustus
IMDB Rating: 5.7/10 from 618 votes
Release: 10 October 1967 (UK) /

Doctor Faustus

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director: Richard Burton,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Faustus is a scholar at the University of Wittenberg when he earns his doctorate degree. His insatiable appetite for knowledge and power leads him to employ necromancy to conjure Mephistopheles out of hell. He bargains away his soul to Lucifer in exchange for living 24 years during which Mephistopheles will be his slave. Faustus signs the pact in his own blood and Mephistopheles reveals the works of the devil to Faustus. Written by alfiehitchie

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Critic Reviews


The movie did draw in sizeable audiences in the Philippines although most of those who saw it were disappointed including the critics. I remember one shallow critic lamenting the baring of Elizabeth Taylor in one fleeting scene (rear view). He wished she had done it in her earlier years when she would have been more attractive. I must admit that at my age then of 17, she did look a bit too mature for me. But seeing her again on video with me pushing 50, I found that she looks great.

I not only saw the movie, I acted in our school play albeit in a small role as one of the scholars who spoke with Faustus. Alas! the play did not open as our director resigned after he couldn't pull off the open arena presentation he envisioned. Blocking was such a problem.

Seriously, the cinematic effects achieved by Burton who was both actor and director, deserve kudos considering the technical limitations of special effects at the time (1967). A striking scene was when he and Mephistopheles were walking in the night heavens discussing hell. They didn't look superimposed at all and on the full screen, with the two figures seeming to walk on the bottom of the frame across the blue black firmament among the stars, it gave one a feeling of both wonder and terror of being lost in the heavens. Looking back, it seems that Burton pioneered in achieving a surreal LSD effect which later became quite common.

The lines of Mephistopheles describing the nature of hell is memorable. I quote him freely: "Think you not that I who had experienced the Beatific Presence am not constantly tortured since I have been deprived of it? Hell is where we (the devils) are and where hell is, there we are, for each of us carry our own hell." This would apply to humans and not only to devils.

The Oxford players were great especially the actor who played Mephistopheles who was portrayed sympathetically in that he seemed to regret the Faust's loss of his immortal soul. The devil was shown weeping.

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