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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

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.


(scenario), (play)
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Credited cast:
Walter Ackerman ...
Charles Chapman ...
Elita Proctor Otis ...
William V. Ranous ...
James Young


Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is engaged to be married to Hippolyta. One of the Duke's courtiers has a daughter, Hermia, who, for business reasons, he decides shall marry Demetrius: but she is in love with Lysander. Her father appeals to the Duke and he decrees that Hermia must obey her father or forever remain unmarried. The lovers decide to elope and they are followed by the rejected suitor, Demetrius, and Helena, who loves him in vain. On the night of the elopement a number of townspeople are rehearsing in the woods a play which they intend to present at the wedding of Duke Theseus. The eloping lovers, followed by Demetrius and Helena, wander to the same part of the forest that the players frequent. Meanwhile among the fairies of the forest a little love episode has ended in a tiff and Oberon, the king of the fairies, sends his messenger, Puck, for an herb, which, when placed upon the eyes of a sleeper, will cause him or her to love the first creature seen upon awakening. The ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | play | fairy | wedding | weaver | See All (34) »





Release Date:

25 December 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En Skærsommernatsdrøm  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was shot in the summer of 1909 but held back for release on Christmas Day. See more »


Title Card: [last title card]
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 »


Version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981) 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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