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The Tempest (1960)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  3 February 1960 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 84 users  
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Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, who lives in exile on a remote island as a sorcerer, uses his powers to shipwreck his usurper brother on the island.

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Title: The Tempest (TV Movie 1960)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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...
...
...
Liam Redmond ...
...
Ferdinand (as William H. Bassett)
Ronald Radd ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Ballantyne ...
Chris Gampel ...
William LeMassena ...
Geoffrey Lumb ...
...
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Storyline

Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, who lives in exile on a remote island as a sorcerer, uses his powers to shipwreck his usurper brother on the island.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

3 February 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George Schaefer's Showcase Theatre: The Tempest  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Tempest (1908) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Unto These Yellow Sands
Music by Lehman Engel
Lyrics by William Shakespeare
Sung by Roddy McDowall
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User Reviews

 
Ripe ham!
21 January 2007 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This TV production is highly abridged but gives a good idea of the play. The actors come from every part of the acting spectrum from the Shakespearian actor Maurice Evans and the Welsh actor and Elizabeth Taylor husband (twice) Richard Burton to the comedian Tom Poston.

It strikes me that, though Mr. Evans perhaps had a more musical sense of the lines than Michael Hordern in another production I reviewed, the results of loving your voice too much approaches bombast. I could easily imagine a much more introverted approach in character with a man like Prospero who was a private practitioner of the magical arts not a public one. (Especially in a film or video production where projection is not so important.)

In short, a very old-fashioned oratorical approach which this video preserves well.

In keeping with a 1960 version of the play, Roddy McDowell who plays Ariel is, like David Dixon in the other version, not overdressed but he wears briefs and not a thong like Mr. Dixon. He seems to me much more comfortable in the part and reads his lines more convincingly.

All the more reason I wonder why Tom Poston as Trinculo was encouraged to camp it up (with a lisp in his case.) and this is true of some of the other characters as well.

Lee Remick was fine as Miranda but I thought Pippa Guard was even better in the other version. And William Bassett in briefs and a sort of Roman top for some reason was perhaps overly "manly" and here also I preferred Christopher Guard, who was more poetic, in the other version. Richard Burton as Caliban was fine as well.

The "masque" towards the end with Juno, Ceres etc. was cut to shreds but Lehman Engel's music was more than adequate. The sets were also quite serviceable.

Perhaps I might add a paragraph or two concerning the part of Ariel and the "girlie-man" comment by another reviewer: This is not off the mark since Ariel is supposed to be sexually neutral. In Shakespeare's day, he would have undoubtedly been played by one of the boy actors who also did the women's parts.

More recently, it has been done by adult male actors who are sexually ambivalent to some extent, at least in appearance. (Roddy McDowell was certainly a gay man but I really don't know anything about David Dixon in the other version I reviewed.) The part has also commonly been played by women.


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