The BBC TV Shakespeare (The Complete Dramatic Works, 37 Plays)
• Romeo and Juliet - Directed by Alvin Rakoff (1978)
• Richard II - Directed by David Giles (1978)
• As You Like It - Directed by Basil Coleman (1978)
• Julius Caesar - Directed by Herbert Wise (1979)
• Measure For Measure - Directed by Desmond Davis (1979)
• Henry VIII - Directed Kevin Billington (1979)
• Henry IV: Parts I & II - Directed by David Giles (1979)
• Henry V - Directed by David Giles (1979)
• Twelfth Night - Directed by John Gorrie (1980)
• The Tempest - Directed by John Gorrie (1980)
• Hamlet - Directed by Rodney Bennett (1980)
• The Taming Of The Shrew - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1980)
• The Merchant Of Venice - Directed by Jack Gold (1980)
• All’s Well That Ends Well - Directed by Elijah Moshinsky (1981)
• The Winter's Tale - Directed by Jane Howell (1981)
• Timon of Athens - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1981)
• Antony and Cleopatra - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1981)
• Othello - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1981)
• Troilus and Cressida - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1981)
• A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Directed by Elijah Moshinsky (1981)
• King Lear - Directed by Jonathan Miller (1982)
• The Merry Wives of Windsor - Directed by David Hugh Jones (1982)
• Henry VI: Parts I, II & III - Directed by Jane Howell (1983)
• The Tragedy of Richard III - Directed by Jane Howell (1983)
• Cymbeline - Directed by Elijah Moshinsky (1983)
• Macbeth - Directed by Jack Gold (1983)
• The Comedy of Errors - Directed by James Cellan Jones (1983)
• Two Gentlemen of Verona - Directed by Don Taylor (1983)
• Coriolanus - Directed by Elijah Moshinsky (1984)
• Pericles: Prince of Tyre - Directed by David Hugh Jones (1984)
• The Life and Death of King John - Directed by David Giles (1984)
• Much Ado About Nothing - Directed by Stuart Burge (1984)
• Love's Labour’s Lost - Directed by Elijah Moshinsky (1985)
• Titus Andronicus - Directed by Jane Howell (1985)
Antony and Cleopatra
• Dir. Jon Scoffield: UK (1974) 161 minutes. With Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman, Corin Redgrave, Patrick Stewart. Produced and staged for television by Trevor Nunn.
As You Like It
• Dir. Paul Czinner: UK (1936) 98 minutes. With Elisabeth Bergner, Laurence Olivier. This film was Sir Laurence Olivier’s first onscreen appearance in a Shakespearean work.
• Dir: Christine Edzard: UK (1992) 112 minutes. With James Fox, Cyril Cusack, Andrew Tiernan, Emma Croft, Griff Rhys Jones. Film set in the urban wastelands of London.
• Dir: John Hirsch: Canada (1983) 160 minutes. With Roberta Maxwell, Andrew Giles. Film of stage production at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival before a live audience.
Comedy of Errors
• Dir: Richard Monette: Canada (1989) 77 minutes. With Nicholas Pennell, Geordie Johnson, Keith Dinicol, James Blendick, Douglas Chamberlain, Juan Chioran. Film of stage production at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival before a live audience.
• Dir. Sven Gade: Germany (1920) 134 minutes. With Asta Nielsen as Hamlet. Silent film subtitled: A Drama of Vengeance in which female silent film star Asta Nielsen takes on the Dane, made possible by adding a prologue which shows Gertrude receiving notice that King Hamlet was killed in battle just after she gives birth, forcing her to declare her child a boy in order to have an heir. The plot parallels the Shakespearean version from that point onwards, but with interesting twists on Hamlet’s relationships with Horatio and Ophelia.
• Dir. Laurence Olivier: Great Britain (1948) 153 minutes. With Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Felix Aylmer, Peter Cushing. This film was the winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
• Dir. John Gielgud: USA (1964) 191 minutes. With Richard Burton. Richard Burton stars in this stripped down, black and white stage production played in rehearsal dress. Long thought to have been destroyed, Burton’s Hamlet is a treasure to be seen again and again. Released both in theaters and on television.
• Dir. Grigori Kozintsev: Russia (1964) 140 minutes. With Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Mikhail Nazvanov. Considered by many the finest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Grigori Kozintsev’s film is a spare, haunting interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak. The malevolence afoot in the state of Denmark is magnificently captured by the foreboding black and white cinematography and the dark, dramatic score by composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
• Dir. Tony Richardson: UK (1969) 119 minutes. With Nicol Williamson, Anthony Hopkins, Marianne Faithful, Gordon Jackson. The production was filmed at The Roundhouse Theatre which explains that use of extreme close up and the complete lack of establishing shots.
• Dir. Kevin Kline: USA (1990) 173 minutes. With Kevin Kline, Dana Ivey, Diane Venora. Made for television version originally staged for The New York Shakespeare Festival.
• Dir. Franco Zeffirelli: USA (1990) 135 minutes. With Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter. Filmed in England and Scotland, set in medieval castles and ruins.
• Dir. Kenneth Branagh: USA/UK (1996) 242 minutes. With Kenneth Branagh, Kate Winslet, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Nicholas Farrell, Michael Maloney, Rufus Sewell, et al. This film is a four hour full text version of the play. Shot in 70mm, it is set in a generic 19th Century European country. Forthcoming on DVD.
• Dir. Michael Almereyda: USA (2000) 123 minutes. With Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Sam Shepard, Diane Venora, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles. Film set in modern-day corporate America.
• Dir: Campbell Scott: USA (2000) 190 minutes. With Campbell Scott, Blair Brown, Roscoe Lee Browne, Jamey Sheridan. A made-for-television mini-series, set during the U.S. Civil War.
• Dir: Peter Brook: France (2001) 132 minutes. With Adrian Lester. Director Peter Brook, renowned for his innovative and controversial plays (Marat/Sade, The Mahabharata), interprets Hamlet in a gripping, stripped-down production that highlights the tragic heart of the play. Hailed the world over on its international tour as an unforgettable achievement, the play and film feature an international cast of the world’s best actors including Adrian Lester.
• Dir. Michael Mundell: UK (2003) 220 minutes. With Jason Connery, Helen Baxendale, Brian Blessed, William Houston. Film.
The Wars of the Roses (Richard II through Richard III)
• Dir: Michael Bogdanov: UK (1990) 21 hours 30 minutes. With Michael Pennington (Richard II, Henry Prince of Wales, Henry V, Earl of Suffolk, Jack Cade, Duke of Buckingham); Michael Cronin (Bolingbroke, Henry IV, MacMorris, Warwick, Stanley); Paul Brennen (Bagot, Peto, Pistol, Vernon, Cambridge, Henry VI); Barry Stanton (Falstaff, Chorus in Henry V, Richard of York); Andrew Jarvis (Hotspur, the Dauphin of France, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Richard III). The Wars of the Roses is a straight-to-video filming, directly from the stage production of the English Shakespeare Company’s production that includes eight of Shakespeare’s history plays from Richard II through Richard III.
• Dir. Laurence Olivier: USA (1944) 137 minutes. With Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton, Leslie Banks, Renee Asherson, Leo Genn. The classic Olivier film.
• Dir. Kenneth Branagh: UK (1990) 138 minutes. With Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Judi Dench, Paul Scofield. Leonard Maltin described this Oscar-nominated film as being amongst the greatest war films of all time.
• Dir. David Bradley: USA (1950) 93 minutes. With Charlton Heston, David Bradley, Harold Tasker, Theodore Cloak, Mary Sefton Darr, Homer Dietmeier, Grosvenor Glenn, Bob Holt. Film.
• Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz: USA (1953) 120 minutes. With Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Deborah Kerr, Greer Garson. This film was nominated for five Academy Awards.
• Dir. Stuart Burge: USA (1970) 116 minutes. With Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, Richard Chamberlain, John Gielgud. An all-star cast heads up this 1970 remake of 1950 film.
• Dir. Andrew McCullough: USA (1953) 76 minutes. With Orson Welles, Lloyd Bochner, Beatrice Straight, Bramwell Fletcher. Music by Virgil Thomson. Peter Brook was the stage director of this film that was performed live in front of television cameras in 1953, Welles played the title role in this Shakespeare classic about a beleaguered king who is plagued by problems both political and personal. This version does not feature the subplot of Gloucester and his sons, and has Poor Tom as a character in his own right.
• Dir. Grigory Kozintsev: Russia (1970) 140 minutes. With Jüri Järvet as Lear, music by Dmitri Shostakovich. This film is hailed as one of the best adaptations of this Shakespearean tragedy, Kozintsev’s King Lear is a striking epic interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak and driven by a stirring score by composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Kozintsev transposed the setting to a sparse landscape of moors and marshes, which provides an eerie backdrop to the bare castles and roaming bands of ragged, destitute wanderers.
• Dir. Peter Brook: UK (1971) 132 minutes. With Paul Scofield, Alan Webb, Irene Worth, Susan Engel, Anne-Lise Gabold, Jack MacGowran. The text has been severely cut and the remainder has been reassembled. The film is bleak in this black and white, existential experience.
• Dir. Edwin Sherin: USA (1974) 176 minutes. With James Earl Jones, Raul Julia, Paul Sorvino, Rene Auberjonois. Filmed live as part of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival.
• Dir. Tony Davenall: UK (1974) 156 minutes. With Patrick Magee, Ronald Radd, Patrick Mower. Made for television by Thames Television.
• Dir. Michael Elliott: Great Britain (1984) 158 minutes. With Laurence Olivier, Diana Rigg, John Hurt, Jeremy Kemp, Robert Lindsay, Colin Blakely. Laurence Olivier’s acclaimed performance in this made-for-television production made towards the end of his career.
• The Tale of Lear: Dir. Tasashi Suzuki: Japan (1988) 100 minutes. With Tom Hewitt, Jeffrey Bihr. All male -- the daughters sporting beards, the fool a burly fellow in nurse drag – filmed for television from stage adaptation, staged as the fantasies and fuddled memories of a dotard near death, played by a thirty-year old with Japanese staging and costumes pieced together from antique kimonos, the set is metal gratings and a chair.
• Dir. Richard Eyre: UK (1998) 150 minutes. With Ian Holm, Barbara Flynn, Amanda Redman, Victoria Hamilton, David Burke. A television adaptation of the Royal National Theatre production, set on a sound studio set with minimal props and sets.
• Dir. Brian Blessed: UK (2003) 220 minutes. With Brian Blessed, Graham McTavish, Phillippa Peak, Jason Riddington, Hildegard Neil. Made for cinema.
Love’s Labour’s Lost
• Dir. Kenneth Branagh: FRA/UK/USA (2000) 94 minutes. With Kenneth Branagh, Nathan Lane, Adrian Lester, Matthew Lillard, Natascha McElhone, Alissandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone, Timothy Spall. Film transmuted to a 1930’s Busby-Berkley styled musical featuring songs of Cole Porter and George Gershwin.
• Dir. Orson Welles: USA (1948) 107 minutes. With Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O’Herlihy. The uncut version of film has been restored to its original 107 minutes its dialogue with full Scottish accents, while the more common originally released studio version of 89 minutes, while still making use of Scotch accents, has long stretches of redubbed, unaccented dialogue.
• Dir. Roman Polanski: USA (1971) 140 minutes. With Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw. This notorious and bloody film was shot in rugged North Wales.
• Dirs. Trevor Nunn & Philip Casson: UK (1978) 146 minutes. With Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, John Woodvine, Bob Peck. A filmed for television version of Trevor Nunn’s minimalist Royal Shakespeare Company production, restaged on a sound stage.
• Dir. Michael Bodganov: UK (1998). With Jason Connery, Greta Scacchi, Sean Pertwee, Lesley Joseph, Denise Black. This film is set in a timeless zone somewhere in the twentieth century against a raw, urban industrial environment, giving it a surreal quality.
• Dir. Jeremy Freeston: UK (2003) 155 minutes. With Jason Connery and Helen Baxendale. This film, set in eleventh century Scotland, won the Silver Screen Award at the 30th US International Film Festival.
Merchant of Venice
• Dir. John Sichel: UK (1973) 131 minutes. With Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright, Jeremy Brett, Michael Jayston, Anthony Nicholls. This is a made for television version of the 1970 National Theatre stage production in which Olivier plays Shylock as a 19th Rothschild-like banker. (VHS)
• Dir. Trevor Nunn: UK (2001) 141 minutes. With Henry Goodman, David Bamber, Alexander Hanson, Derbhle Crotty. A film version of Trevor Nunn’s powerful Royal National Theatre production set in Europe between the World Wars.
• Dir. Michael Radford: USA / Italy / Luxembourg / UK (2004) 131 minutes. With Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins. Michael Radford, director of Il Postino, directs this visually lush film.
Midsummer Night’s Dream
• Dir. Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle: USA (1935) 143 minutes. With James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown. Max Reinhardt staged A Midsummer Night’s Dream thirteen times between 1905 and 1934 in Germany before moving to Hollywood to collaborate on this classic film version of the play. (VHS transfer)
• Dir. Peter Hall: UK (1968) 124 minutes. With Ian Richardson, Ian Holm, Judi Dench, David Warner, Diana Rigg, Helen Mirren et al. Peter Hall’s verdant 1968 Royal Shakespeare Company film version.
• Dir. Adrian Noble: UK (1996) 103 minutes. With Alex Jennings, Lindsay Duncan, Desmond Barrit and Barry Lynch. This film, based on Noble’s touring stage production and has a colourful and avant-garde stage setting, with minimal set pieces filmed on a large sound stage.
• Dir. Michael Hoffman: USA (1999) 120 minutes. With Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci. This film is set in turn-of-the-century Italy with gorgeous sets and lavish costumes.
Much Ado About Nothing
• Dir. A. J. Antoon and Nick Havinga: USA (1972) 165 minutes. With Sam Waterston, Kathleen Widdoes, Barnard Hughes, April Shawnham and others. Made-for-television version of Joseph Papp’s production for the New York Shakespeare Festival in a turn-of-the-century rendition featuring roughriders and suffragettes.
• Dir. Kenneth Branagh: Great Britain (1993) 110 minutes. With Emma Thompson, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington. Branagh set this film in 19th century Tuscany.
• Dir. Dmitri Buchowetzki: Germany (1922) 80 minutes. With Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Lya de Putti, Igo von Lenkeffy. A German silent film interpretation by Russian director Dmitri Buchowetzki.
• Dir. Orson Welles: France/USA (1952) 93 minutes. With Orson Welles, Michael Maclammoir, Suzanne Cloutier, Fay Compton, Michael Lawrence. This movie was shot over three years and production was stopped twice, mainly because Welles ran out of money. He then starred in the films The Third Man (1949) and Prince of Foxes (1949). He took his payment from those films and used them as money to complete Othello.
• Dir. Janet Suzman: South Africa (1989) 200 minutes. With John Kani, Richard Haines, Joanna Weinberg. This is made-for-television version of South African-born Suzman’s controversial and powerful interpretation staged at the Johannesburg Market Theatre.
• Dir. Oliver Parker: USA (1995) 124 minutes. With Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, Kenneth Branagh. Parker’s film with Laurence Fishburne as Othello.
• Dir. John Farrell: USA (2001) 93 minutes. With Matte Osian, Kadina Delejalde, Barry Smith, Ellen Zachos. An independent, low budget digital film production, most notable for its reworking of Richard as a Rambo-esque war hero.
• Dir. James Keane: USA (1912) 59 minutes. With Frederick Warde, Robert Gomp, Albert Gardner, Violet Stuart. Restored print of earliest surviving American feature film – 1912.
• Dir. Laurence Olivier: Great Britain (1955) 158 minutes. With Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Ralph Richardson, Stanley Baker. Film released in theater and on television.
• Dir. Richard Loncraine: USA (1995) 104 minutes. With Sir Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downie, Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, and others. Richard Loncraine’s powerfully compelling WW2-styled film adaptation of his 1990’s touring stage production.
Romeo and Juliet
• Dir. Renato Castellani: UK (1954) 141 minutes. With Laurence Harvey, Susan Shentall, Flora Robson, John Gielgud (narrator). An Italian/UK film shot in many of the actual locations in which the play is set.
• Dir. Franco Zeffirelli: UK/Italy (1968) 138 minutes. With Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting, Michael York. This film won two Academy Awards. A classic, gorgeous and luscious film: the Romeo and Juliet for the sixties generation.
• Dir. Joan Kemp-Welch: UK (1976) 186 minutes. With Ann Hasson, Christopher Neame, Clive Swift, Patsy Byrne, Lawrence Payne. A made for television production.
• Dir. Richard Monette: Canada (1993) 161 minutes. With Megan Porter Follows, Antoni Cimolino, Colm Feore. A film of the Stratford (Ontario) Festival’s 1993 stage production.
• Dir. Baz Luhrmann: USA (1996) 120 minutes. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. A modern-day highly kinetic and sensationalistic film adaptation by Baz Luhrmann.
Taming of the Shrew
• Dir. Franco Zeffirelli: USA/Italy (1967) 122 minutes. With Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack, Michael Holdern, Alfred Lynch, Alan Webb, Michael York. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the classic Zeffirelli film production.
• Dir. William Ball/Kirk Browning: USA (1976) 120 minutes. With Marc Singer, Fredi Ostler, Sandra Shotwell, William Paterson. Filmed for television version of The American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco’s commedia dell’arte production.
• Dir. Richard Monette: Canada (1988) 150 minutes. With Colm Feore, Goldie Semple, Henry Czerny, Keith Dinicol, Scott Wentworth, Geraint Wyn Davies. A film of the Stratford (Ontario) Festival’s stage production, the only filmed version to feature the Christopher Sly introduction and conclusion.
• Dir. Derek Jarman: USA (1979) 95 minutes. With Heathcoat Williams, Kate Temple, Christopher Biggins, and lots of naked sailors. A highly avant-garde interpretation by Derek Jarman. This film is not for purists.
• Dir. Herb Roland: Canada (1982) 145 minutes. With Len Cariou, Colin Fox, Sharry Flett, Miles Potter, Jim Mezon, Ian Deakin, Richard Monette. A film of the Stratford (Ontario) Festival’s stage production.
• Dir. Julie Taymor: USA (1999) 140 minutes. With Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Harry Lennix. Julie Taymor’s stylishly innovative and compelling film.
• Dir. Alan Erlich: Canada (1985) 150 minutes. With Seana McKenna, Nicholas Pennell, James Blendick, Edward Atienza, Marie Ricossa, and Colm Feore. A film of the Stratford (Ontario) Festival’s stage production.
• Dir. Kenneth Branagh: UK (1988) 165 minutes. With Richard Briers, Frances Barber, Caroline Langrishe, Christopher Ravenscroft, and James Saxon. Original music by Paul McCartney and Pat Doyle. The Renaissance Theatre Company for Thames Television with authentic sets and colorful costumes.
• Dir. Trevor Nunn: USA (1996) 134 minutes. With Helena Bonham-Carter, Richard E. Grant, Nigel Hawthorne, Ben Kingsley, Imogen Stubbs, Toby Stephens, Imelda Staunton, Mel Smith. A once-in-a-lifetime cast shines in this hilarious film.
• Dir. Tim Supple: UK (2003) 102 minutes. This classic Shakespeare comedy of disguise and mistaken identity follows twins Viola and Sebastian, asylum seekers who are separated and washed up on the strange island of Illyria – a contemporary, multicultural London dreamscape that is both soulful and sensual, yet dark and dangerous. Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this story about the loneliness of exile, the pain of loss and the madness of love in this contemporary screen adaptation of Twelfth Night.
Dir. Gregory Doran: UK (1999) 180 minutes. With Anthony Sher, Alexandra Gilbreath. The Royal Shakespeare Company production, filmed performance at the Barbican Theatre, London.
Contributed by Hardy Cook
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Some more Romeo & Juliet films/adaptations...
'Kino and Teresa': An American Indian version set in 17th century Santa Fe, 17 years after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. This adaptation revolves around the conflict between the Pueblo Indians and Spanish colonists.
'Romeo and Juliet Remixed': 'Romeo and Juliet' for the rave crowd. Prior to the show, the audience mingles in 'Club Verona,' where they are given yellow or pink glow necklaces. Later these colors are used to separate the Montagues from the Capulets, a division that includes the audience.
Juliet's caretaker for this adaptation is an S&M queen known as 'Nurse.' Romeo appears with his club hopping friend Mercutio. The lovers send secret communiqués by text message and cell phone. An ecstasy-like drug replaces the poison that puts Juliet to sleep.
'Femme Capulet': Set in a strip club called Femme Capulet. Replacing Victorian garb are push-up bras, false eyelashes and stiletto heels. As Juliet the stripper appears on a dance stage, Romeo slips a dollar into her garter while delivering the famous lines from the balcony scene. The lovers' suicide, usually the finale, starts the show, and the remaining scenes are retrospective.
Among television adaptations are:
'Romie-0 and Julie-8' (1979): A Canadian-produced science fiction adaptation of the play. The lead characters are robots who fall in love at a robot convention. When they run away, their owners try to get them back and keep them apart.
'Pizza My Heart' (2005): This story takes place in Verona, N.J., and is centered around the lives of two feuding pizzeria owners, the Prestolanis and the Montebellos.
'Romeo x Juliet' (2007): An anime version of the play is expected next month, created by the animation studio Gonzo. Set in a futuristic, aerial city known as Neo Verona, the series is slated to premiere in Japan.
The administrator has disabled public write access.