Directed by Hans Richter
USA 1947

Berlin-born Hans Richter - Dadaist, painter, film theorist and filmmaker - was for four decades one of the most influential members of the cinematic avant-garde. Richter assembled some of the century's liveliest artists as co-creators of Dreams That Money Can Buy, his most ambitious attempt to bring the work of the European avant-garde to a wider cinema audience. Among its admirers is film director David Lynch.

Joe, a young man down on his luck, discovers he has the power to create dreams, and sets up a business selling them to others. The 'dreams' he gives to his clients are the creations of Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Richter himself, and the result is by turns playful, hypnotic, satirical, charming and nightmarish


Theatrical Release: September 1947 - Venice Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: BFI - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:19:39 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 3 short films by Hans Richter: Rhythmus 21 (1921); Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928) and Everyday (1929)
• Bonus alternative soundtrack by The Real Tuesday Weld
• Filmed interview with The Real Tuesday Weld and Cibelle on composing the soundtrack
• Liner notes illustrated 28-page booklet containing an interview with Hans Richter, film notes, biographies, credits and details on The Real Tuesday Weld

DVD Release Date: July 31st, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 7




Dreams That Money Can Buy has a Film Noir base and is divided into a bizarre pastiche of seven segments - namely:

Desire Director, Writer - Max Ernst
The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart Director, Writer - Fernand Léger
Ruth, Roses and Revolvers Director, Writer - Man Ray
Discs Director, Writer - Marcel Duchamp
Ballet Director, Writer - Alexander Calder
Circus Director, Writer - Alexander Calder
Narcissus Director, Writer - Hans Richter

The DVD includes an exclusive alternative soundtrack by London-based Baroque pop band The Real Tuesday Weld, with narration by Brazilian chanteuse Cibelle and English alchemist David Piper. The band has previously performed this soundtrack live to accompany screenings of the film at the NFT in April 2005 and at Tate Modern in May 2006.

The image quality, for an experimental, avant garde, work seems appropriately weak in the area of production values but retains enough clarity on the DVD transfer to be watchable. It has optional English subtitles and some erstwhile supplements - 3 shorts by Richter, an interview with The Real Tuesday Weld and Cibelle on composing the soundtrack and the nicely put-together booklet.

Overall, the film(s) reminded me of Cocteau's work, but may, obviously, mean different things to different individuals. It certainly is curious and worthwhile for lovers of the Avant Garde movement.    

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


Subtitle Sample




Screen Captures














DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL


Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,


Thank You!