Guzzling dwarfs, bedizened courtesans, Pavarotti draped in gilded fruit and garlands: Ponnelle's film of Verdi's melodious blood-and-thunder - about a hunchbacked jester, his ravished daughter, and vengeance that goes terribly wrong - is taken at full-frontal face value. Marvellous locations - mouldering palaces, riverside slums - make up for Ponnelle's filmic clumsiness and occasional over-emphasis. As Rigoletto, Wixell is spiteful, tender and ferocious, Gruberova sings like an angel except when stretched by the 'Tremenda vendetta' duet, and Pavarotti's libertine Duke photographs well, acts dashingly, and ends 'La donna è mobile' with a ringing high B. Riccardo Chailly conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in a sleek, surging performance. Handsome to see and hear. MHoy.