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Even if you don't believe that he wrote all those plays let's talk about his best film adaptations and anything else William Shakespearean.

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King Lear 3 Replies

In 1971 Peter Brook & Company presented a staggering King Lear. It's really the only Lear I return to time and again to marvel and sneer. Paul Scofield is the most truculently…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Apr 14.

Still More Words...

Shakespeare Scholars: 4. James Shapiro (with Barry Edelstein) Continue

Started by Ando Apr 10.

Hamlet 30 Replies

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and among the most powerful and influential…Continue

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Anonymous (Roland Emmerich, 2011) 66 Replies

Frankly, I think the Shakespeare conspiracy theories are a waste of time. Whether or…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Nov 4, 2013.

Othello 2 Replies

Othello has never been a Shakespeare play that I've admired (or regarded) as a "well written play". I suppose the varied approaches to it has attracted me more than the play, itself. Orson Welles' 1952 film version remains my favorite because he…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Nov 1, 2013.

Titus Andronicus 3 Replies

Titus Andronicus is a tragedy co-authored, possibly, with George Peele and believed to…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Sep 30, 2013.

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Comment by Ando on February 26, 2012 at 8:36pm

When you're considering a writer as prolific as William Shakespeare and the relatively small number of films that claim to be adaptations the only "must see" is "must see more". I tend to like the more imaginative takes on his plays like Peter Greenway's Prospero's Books, Akira Kurosawa's Ran and Peter Brook's King Lear. One of the best of the filmed stage plays in the BBC/Ambrose Video Shakespeare series, as Sevorin alluded to, is their Henry VI trilogy: with hilariously cheap set designs and clunky direction the ensemble nevertheless manages to give an incredible performance (similar to what The Globe performances must have been like) of this seldom produced triad.

Comment by Sevorin on February 26, 2012 at 5:20pm

Olivier's Richard III and Othello are definitive, though the latter is more a filmed stage play.

 

His Henry V is enjoyable if you're in the right mood, but a lot of it has not stood up so well. The final moment -- when we're thrust from the real world back into the Globe -- is still a joy, however.

I have come to despise Branagh's Shakespearean productions, but part of his Henry V is worthwhile.

Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing suffers from his wretched hand, but Emma Thompson is a wonderful Beatrice.

Nigel Hawthorne is an adept Malvolio in Twelfth Night. And if you're not too demanding when it comes to cuts and edits, Zefferelli's The Taming of the Shrew is a glorious testament to the screen power of Burton and Taylor.

I enjoyed the Mel Gibson Hamlet, though so much of it was cut and re-arranged that I wondered whether i was getting Hamlet at all. He delivers some nifty line readings, though, such as, "Words, words, words . . ."

Really, though, you'd be better off chasing down the television productions on DVD that are available through your local library. The BBC did all the plays, some better than others. I especially recommend its version of Much Ado About Nothing  with Robert Lindsay and Cherie Lunghi.

Comment by don on February 26, 2012 at 3:02pm

I've been reading your comments on the Anonymous thread and you guys really know your stuff. I love the English language well written and spoken. Please give me a few Shakespeare movies-must see. I am not looking for an exhaustive list as my time is limited. May I have a few most important to watch?

Comment by Ando on February 26, 2012 at 1:54pm

The 1936 Czinner production of As You Like It (with subs, thank heaven):

 

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