7.2/10
235
3 user 1 critic

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959)

Sen noci svatojánské (original title)
The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Fantasy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Excellent stop-motion animation film from one of the best Czech filmmakers, Jirí Trnka. It tells the ancient story of Czechoslovakia, how it was founded by Czech, the Forefather, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka
Stars: Zdenek Stepánek, Eduard Kohout, Karel Höger
Ruka (1965)
Animation | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A happy little potter is approached by a huge hand which wants him to sculpt its statue. The potter refuses, wanting nothing more than to be left alone with his only friend, a potted plant.... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau
Hamlet I (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The highly successful 1964 Richard Burton Broadway production of "Hamlet", deliberately staged in the style of a "dress rehearsal", but performed in front of a live audience.

Directors: Bill Colleran, John Gielgud
Stars: Richard Burton, Hume Cronyn, Alfred Drake
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A minor Czech clan falls afoul of the King in medieval times, against the backdrop of Christianity replacing Paganism.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil
Stars: Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The volunteer fire department in a small town is having a big party when the ex-boss of the department celebrates his 86th birthday. The whole town is invited but things don't go as planned... See full summary »

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jan Vostrcil, Josef Sebánek, Josef Valnoha
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Quince (voice)
...
Hermia (voice)
...
Narrator
Tom Criddle ...
Lysander (voice)
...
Récitant / Narrator (French version) (voice)
Laura Graham ...
Hippolyta (voice)
...
Oberon (voice)
...
Titania (voice)
...
Helena (voice)
Hugh Manning ...
Theseus (voice)
...
Bottom (voice)
Michael Meacham ...
Demetrius (voice)
Stephen Moore ...
Flute (voice)
...
Narrator (original Czech version) (as R. Pellar)
Roger Shepherd ...
Puck (voice)
Edit

Storyline

The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common popular world of tradesmen amateur theatre and a fairy-tale happiness of magic creatures as elves and nymphs. The film is considered the most remarkable Jirí Trnka's work and a milestone in the history of the world animation. Written by KrátkýFilm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1959 (Czechoslovakia)  »

Also Known As:

A Midsummer Night's Dream  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Dream You Won't Want to Wake Up From!
11 November 2002 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Alas, the version I saw was not the one listed here - with narration by Richard Burton and voices dubbed by luminaries of the Royal Shakespeare Company - but an alternative one with a very cloying woman (uncredited, and deservedly so!) who tells the whole story in voiceover. The result was less 'William Shakespeare Presents' than 'Tales for Toddler Time.' Frankly, I don't know why they bothered with narration at all, as Trnka's animation is so magically vivid as to make words superfluous.

In fact, this film is a masterpiece of visual storytelling - a reminder of just how wondrous animation can be when it doesn't insult a viewer's intelligence a la Walt Disney. Indeed, it's surprisingly adult at times. A randy goat (under the influence of magic love potion) tries to rape the fairy Puck. The two runaway lovers, Hermia and Lysander, slip into an eerily vulva-shaped cave to consummate their love. Strange, then, that Trnka cuts out the story's gay element - the desire of the Fairy King Oberon for the changeling boy. Perhaps that was more than Communist-era censors could take.

Otherwise, this is an exemplary reading of the text. Jiri Trnka's visualisation of the Enchanted Forest - every inch of it swathed in moonlight and dripping with rose petals, fairy wings, spying owls - rivals the Baroque splendours of the 1935 Max Reinhardt film. Even the amateur actors' performance of 'Pyramus and Thisbe' (an irksome comic interlude in most stagings) is transformed by Puck's magic into a heart-soaring experience. A must for anyone who loves Shakespeare - or, more important, anyone who doesn't - this is one dream you won't want to wake up from!

David Melville


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?