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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 208 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

In ancient Athens, four young lovers escape into the woods. Meanwhile, tradesmen rehearse a play. All of them suffer from the shenanigans of mischievous fairies.

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(scenario), (play)
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Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Walter Ackerman ...
Charles Chapman ...
...
Fairy
...
Fairy
Maurice Costello ...
Julia Swayne Gordon ...
Gladys Hulette ...
William Humphrey
Elita Proctor Otis ...
William V. Ranous ...
...
Mechanical
Rose Tapley ...
Florence Turner ...
...
Penelope
James Young
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Storyline

The Duke of Athens, on the eve of his wedding to Hippolyta, decrees that Hermia shall marry Demetrius, as per her father's wishes. Demetrius and Hermia's father are the only ones happy about this arrangement. Hermia is in love with Lysander. And a fourth lover, Helena, is in love with Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander elope into the woods; Demetrius follows them. And Helena follows Demetrius. Meanwhile, Titania, the queen of the fairies, quarrels with Penelope, who gets her revenge by enlisting Puck to find a magic herb that, when placed upon the eyes of a sleeper, will cause him to fall in love with the first person he sees upon waking. Puck's mischief soon involves the four young lovers as well as a group of tradesmen rehearsing for a play. The weaver among them finds himself with the head of an ass. Stranger still, Titania falls in love with him. Written by J. Spurlin

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Plot Keywords:

love | play | fairy | wedding | weaver | See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1909 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The copy held by the BFI National Archive is incomplete, and ends with the mechanicals beginning their play before Theseus. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: [last title card]
[SPOILER]
Title Card: Penelope discovers the mischief that has been done. She restores the weaver to his normal shape and happily unites the lovers.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ein Sommernachtstraum in unserer Zeit (1914) See more »

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User Reviews

 
First, read the Cliff Notes, then watch this film,...
30 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Unless you are a rabid Shakespeare fan who is very familiar with this play, I strongly recommend that before you watch it you go out and buy some Cliff Notes or Monarch Notes so you'll have some idea about exactly what's happening. While not as sketchy and confusing as some other early Shakespeare short films (such as KING JOHN (1899) or THE TEMPEST (1908)), this is a very abbreviated version of the play and is awfully confusing and tough to watch. This doesn't mean that the acting or direction were bad--for 1909 it is pretty good--along with the props and cinematography. In fact, I really liked the guy who was given a donkey's head by Puck--cute stuff for 1909. But even if the film had wonderful production values (which it didn't), you just can't do justice to Shakespeare or any play in only 11 minutes!! My advice is just watch FORBIDDEN PLANET (derrived from THE TEMPEST, believe it or not).


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