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Much Ado About Nothing (1973)

TV Movie  -  Comedy | Romance  -  2 February 1973 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 89 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

Videotape of the Joseph Papp production. Don Pedro and his men (Teddy Roosevelt Roughriders) have returned from the wars. After Beatrice turns down his proposal, Don Pedro decides to ... See full summary »

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Title: Much Ado About Nothing (TV Movie 1973)

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Kathleen Widdoes ...
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Frederick Coffin ...
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Videotape of the Joseph Papp production. Don Pedro and his men (Teddy Roosevelt Roughriders) have returned from the wars. After Beatrice turns down his proposal, Don Pedro decides to matchmake her with Benedick (her former boyfriend), but she being an independent-minded, bicycle-riding Suffragette type, it's going to take a bit of trickery. Meanwhile, Beatrice's cousin, Hero, has fallen in love with Benedick's friend, Claudio. But Don Pedro's bastard half-brother, Don John, plots to split them apart, and Benedick finds himself having to choose between his best friend and the woman he loves. Written by Kathy Li

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2 February 1973 (USA)  »

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A very poor version of a very funny play.
1 February 2005 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is possibly the worst version of the play I have seen - several times on stage apart from the movie.

A very nice idea for the set up - the American South can give a credible backdrop for the extreme reaction round Hero's supposed misdemeanour.

But the execution! Widdoes is a very mannered Beatrice giving a particularly poor performance. Waterston, a fine actor, is not much better as Benedict.

The poorest performance is in the role of Don John - it makes Keanu Reeves look good. Perhaps the desire to make it a caricature along the lines of the villain who ties the maiden to the train track fits with the keystone kops capers of Dogberry and his men - but the acting makes you want to cringe.

Successful set-ups include the scene where they fool Benedict into believing Beatrice loves him - were the acting competent it would be superb. But the use of the river and the visual humour of Benedict moving closer is well produced.

Overall I had to force myself to keep watching but it certainly didn't keep my attention.

Very disappointing.

With respect to latter comments above I am nearly 40. I've been watching stage and screen productions of Shakespeare for over 2 decades. Might I suggest when trying to defend your friends you speak to the piece rather than attack other reviewers when you are so inadequately armed in terms of fact. I can assume though, from your distaste regarding youth, that you are of sufficient age where the mannered acting of bygone days is more to your taste.

My personal favourite pairing was Rylance and McTeer on the London stage. Unlike Widdoes, McTeer, a skilled and charismatic performer, can act.


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