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4.2 out of 5 stars45
4.2 out of 5 stars
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While Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece is a rather splendid family adventure film, be aware that the BFI have released two different editions. The first and superior release - Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece [DVD] - has a blue cover using a variation of the original poster art with Captain Haddock and Thomson and Thompson in the ship's crows nest and includes both the original French-language version with subtitles and a dubbed English language option, as well as the original trailer and a detailed booklet. But to cash-in on the release of Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn [Blu-ray] [Region Free] they also released a budget version with a yellow cover with a still of Tintin and Snowy in profile which only contains the dubbed English language version and no extras. The dubbing is fairly decent, but purists (or those wanting to use the film to help teach their children French in the time-honoured tradition of schools with the books) will want to get the original release, so be careful which one you order.
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Despite being an original story rather than based on any of Herge's popular books, 1961's live-action Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece is the most faithful attempt to bring the intrepid boy reporter and the blustering Captain Haddock's adventures to the screen. More importantly it's also a lot of fun, that rare family film that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. It has a strong story that's well told, getting just the right mixture of intrigue and sporadic action in its Mediterranean treasure hunt, makes good use of its locations in Istanbul and Greece and is perfectly cast. Jean-Pierre Talbot is an ideal Tintin, practical, athletic and intelligent without being too good to be true and he's more than matched by Georges Wilson's Captain Haddock, who catches the bluster and the underlying decency in the kind of big performance that somehow doesn't cross the line into tiresome showboating. It helps that they both look the part, as do the supporting cast - Georges Loriot as Professor Calculus, the uncredited (or rather credit incognito) freres Gaminol as Thomson and Thompson/Dupont and Dupond and the four-legged friend Snowy. There's a surprisingly strong supporting cast too, with Marcel Bozzuffi (the hitman from he French Connection) as a murderous crook and Charles Vanel as a pirate-turned-priest. It's a handsome looking film too, Raymond Le Moigne's cinematography capturing the colour scheme of the books, while André Popp's jaunty score never overeggs the pudding but keeps things light and easygoing in much the same way that Jean Yatrove's charming score for Tati's Jour de Fete did. Amazingly this was originally envisioned as an Alain Resnais film (though his version was going to be an adaptation of The Black Island but that proved too expensive), but it's more than ably directed by Jean-Jacques Vierne, making it a pity his brief directorial career soon fizzled out. All in all, rather splendid fun.

There are two BFI DVD releases in the UK: a budget one with a yellow photographic cover of Tintin and Snowy - Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece [DVD] - that only includes the English dubbed soundtrack (albeit a fairly decent one) and no extras while the original issue with the blue cover original poster art of Captain Haddock in the crows nest with Thomson and Thompson has both the original French soundtrack with English subtitles and the English dub, the original French trailer and a detailed booklet with extracts from Talbot's autobiography. Both versions offer very decent picture quality in the original 1.66:1 ratio, but be careful you order the right one.
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on 25 March 2012
Cashing in alert, you might think?

Always happens. Big new movie (inevitably a remake, because nobody in Hollywood would touch anything original, these days...) gets released, and a forlorn cheapo (3 quid in a supermarket) release of the usually dire original gets shoved out to make a few extra pennies.

Yet I grabbed this one. I had seen stills from Blue 0ranges years ago, and loved the look.

This was dubbed, but I am of a sufficient vintage to remember British holiday TV staples like The Flashing Blade, The Aeronauts and (Da-da-da daaaah-da-daaaaaaaaah ) Robahnsern Creuseau, for it to hold no terrors for me. (Unlike the Singing Ringing Tree, which still does...)

This is cracking. Live action cartoon done with real style, and absolute attention to detail. None of your "Tom Cruise will do as Jack Reacher, no-one will notice" nonsense here.

Jean-Pierre Talbot is uncannily good, and gives you an extra name for your "Famous Belgians" list. He pulls off the "clean-cut boy scout, yet well able give villains a good kicking / hail of hot leaden death" thing perfectly.

Snowy is exactly right. Professor Calculus's goofy green hat, all present and correct. For goodness sake, Nestor even had the right haircut and shape of skull!

However, Haddock's beard is a bit suspect. There again, you must remember this was 1961 and there was no technology then. But the stuff they used to make Action Man's hair is right there on the screen, even if not quite as firmly glued on.

And it was a good story too. Everyone should get this. It is genuinely odd and utterly charming.

(I only wish they had been able to include Bianca Castafiore, and the Professor's totally trippy LSD-powered colour TV.)

I may get round to watching the new one, but I'm still a bit resistant to the idea of using tons of CGI to make a (non-)cartoon, that could possibly have been managed a lot easier by using, you know... actors, like...

The trousers are never explained, and I, for one, am profoundly grateful.
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on 4 March 2016
An interesting and exciting story (not one of Herge's originals but still in character).
The actor playing Tintin (and the one playing Snowy) are very good. However Captain Haddock's beard looks as though it was painted on and the two actors playing the detectives are appalling.
The scenery (Turkey and Greece of the 1960's) is excellent. The action scenes (particularly the car chase) done long before the days of CGI are very good as well.
On the whole, enjoyable and worth buying.
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on 5 August 2015
I caught the end of this film on BBC2 recently and was so taken with Jean-Pierre Talbot as Tintin that I bought this and Tintin and the Blue Oranges. Have just watched the Golden Fleece (with my Samsung TV set to 3D mode it was even more amazing ! ) and can endorse every review of 4 stars and above. Simply the best Tintin ever and that goes for Captain Haddock, Calculus Snowy and the Twins. The plot is also very good. Will review the Blue Oranges as soon as I have seen it.
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on 2 April 2014
This relatively little known French live action film from 1961 was the first time that Tintin (the famous boy reporter created by Belgian cartoonist Herge) was brought to the silver screen. It is also probably the best, certainly capturing better Tintin’s spirit than the recent Spielberg film. It obviously helped that Herge has creative input in this, unlike with other movies based on Tintin (though this was not based on any particular book but was rather an original story for the screen). The story has Captain Haddock unexpectedly inheriting a boat in Istanbul. When he goes there with Tintin to retrieve the boat, not only it turns out to be a rotting barge, but also there are a lot of baddies trying to pursue them and the boat. It soon becomes clear that the boat is involved with some treasure. Jean Pierre Talbot and Georges Wilson are perfect as Tintin and Haddock. And the attractive locations (Istanbul, Athens, Meteora in Greece) filmed with lush color certainly help a lot.
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on 17 November 2010
It was once shown on tv many years ago & having picked up a mag in wh smiths i discovered by accident this film released by bfi
and available from amazon last week!
Naturally i could not resist & am highly delighted The picture and sound quality on my Std Def only Tv is superb.
The colours,contrast and image detail is acurate sharp and vivid,yes its amazing...Really
complete with original dialogue or english dubbed soundtrack,overall i am impressed 10 out of 10...
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on 14 January 2012
My grandchildren - five and nine year olds - really enjoyed this TinTin DVD as did my husband and myself. Exciting and gripping stuff!
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As Tintin films go this is a very good piece of work. The characters look and act as one imagined from years of reading the books. The plot is set at exactly the right level as are the villains and supporting cast. The subtitles worked very well and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope the new film version meets these high standards; if it even approaches them it will be a great success.

But be warned the version I watched was subtitled. I prefer this to dubbing but you might not.
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on 8 May 2013
If you like films in the original language then BEWARE which version you buy of this film as the BFI version that I ended up with (BFIVD928) was the English dub (therefore did not need any subtitles) and with NO option to hear the original French soundtrack! This contradicts other reviews on here; those users must have bought a different edition of the film.
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