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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 30 October 1935 (USA)
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »

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(by), (arranged for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
...
...
...
Hermia - In Love with Lysander (as Olivia de Haviland)
...
Helena - In Love with Demetrius
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Arthur Treacher ...
Epilogue
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Storyline

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the kingdom of fairies have a slight quarrel about whether or not the boy Titania is raising will join Titania's band or Oberon's, so Oberon tries to get him from her by using some magic. But they're not alone in that forest.Lysander and Hermina have there a rendezvous, Helena and Demetrius are there, too as well as some actors, who are practicing a play for the ongoing wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Due to some misunderstandings by Puck, the whole thing becomes a little bit confused... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

duke | practicing | boy | queen | play | See All (141) »

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Three hundred years in the making! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Sommernachtstraum  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (with overture and exit music)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Reinhardt originally wanted Charles Laughton, Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Laurence Olivier but Warners forced him to use James Cagney, Dick Powell, Anita Louise, and Ian Hunter in the leads. It's not entirely clear why Davis, a Warner contractee, wasn't used. Perhaps she was suspended. See more »

Quotes

Starveling - the Tailor: [Precariously gets up onto a chair, holding up a lantern to speak as the moon, and a thorn bush tied to a dog's collar in his other hand; all cheer as he manages to stand on the chair] This lanthorn doth the horned moon present; Myself the man...
Theseus - Duke of Athens: He should have worn horns on his head.
Starveling - the Tailor: This lanthorn doth the horned moon present; Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be. This do...
Theseus - Duke of Athens: This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man should be put into the lantern.
Starveling - the Tailor: This lan...
Theseus - Duke of Athens: How is it else the ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros. "shield logo" is never seen in the credits. See more »

Connections

Version of Ein Sommernachtstraum (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Italian Symphony: 3rd Movement
(1833) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Adapted by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
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User Reviews

Astounding Shakespeare adaptation
17 April 1999 | by (NAS Whidbey Island, WA) – See all my reviews

Since "Shakespeare in Love" made that particular playwright happening and new, check out this, Warner Bros.' wild, expensive, free-wheeling adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

For me, James Cagney makes the movie. He's Nick Bottom, the leader (or so he believes) of a traveling troupe of actors. He gives an invigorating performance--the screen is his. At one point, he gets to wear a donkey's head (if you know the play, you know what I'm talking about), but it doesn't faze him in the least. Cagney, the most energetic screen actor, doesn't let his over-the-top approach mar his skill or care with The Bard's great words. It's the test of anyone wishing to act out a part in a Shakespeare play, which Cagney passes, to "speak" the dialogue, and by doing so, make what might be confusing on the page understandable to audiences on the screen or stage.

Warner really spared no expense with this production, which I think might have been the costliest of that year. The whole affair is like a dream in every way--it seems to sway in the wind, fragile to the touch. It features Mendolssohn music, soft-white photography (the great Hal Mohr), and some of the most incredible sets and costumes you're likely to see in a 1930s film.

Nominated for three Academy Awards: Picture, Cinematography and Editing. Bested by "Mutiny on the Bounty" for the first, it won the other two.


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