A duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his retinue into the forest of Arden. The banished duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen in ... See full summary »
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After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.
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A duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his retinue into the forest of Arden. The banished duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen in love with Orlando, but he has his own tyrannical brother to contend with, so he joins those in the forest. Rosalind, now banished, disguises herself as a young man, with Celia as her servant, and follows Orlando into the forest. There, nature stirs love's fires in various rustics as well as in those from the court. Phebe, a shepherdess loved by Silvius, is herself smitten with the disguised Rosalind. Can true love find a way, and can brothers be reconciled and harmony restored? Written by
Uneven but Likable, Especially Bergner as Rosalind
The main role, Rosalind, is well-played by the cute, vivacious Bergner. Olivier is good with the physical stuff (very graceful) and the repartee. He tends to fall flat on the soliloquies and extended reveries, though. (And he's wearing way too much makeup, including at times some very crooked lipstick.) The costumes and sets are vivid, probably meant to suggest a fairy-tale, and thus account for the ridiculous plot devices.
And despite the comments of another reviewer, the camera-work is not all "point-and-shoot." It is a bit static by today's standards, but not by those of 1936.
The biggest liability is the muddy, distant sound.
All in all, I liked it more than the average filmed Shakespeare, though it's not great by any means.
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