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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Brian Stirner ...
Richard Pasco ...
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Richard Easton ...
Tony Church ...
John Quentin ...
Maynard Williams ...
Victoria Plucknett ...
Marilyn Le Conte ...
Tom McDonnell ...
David Lloyd Meredith ...
Arthur Hewlett ...
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Storyline

Orlando is forced to work like a servant for his brother Oliver, so he goes to win his fortune in a wrestling contest, where he meets a lady of the court, Rosalind. Rosalind (daughter of the deposed duke) is companion to Celia, niece of the deposed Duke, and when the current duke banishes Rosalind from the kingdom, she, Celia, the court jester (and incidentally Orlando) all end up in the forest or Arden, where the deposed Duke holds court. Romantic mixups, cross-dressing, love poems nailed to trees, and a lion await them all. Written by Kathy Li (revised by Albert Sanchez Moreno)

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17 December 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: As You Like It  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of only two BBC Shakespeare productions shot on location, the other being Henry VIII (1979). However, the location shooting received a lukewarm response from both critics and the BBC's own people, with the general consensus being that the natural world in the episode overwhelmed the actors and the story. See more »

Quotes

Orlando: Only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
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Connections

Version of As You Like It (1912) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Holy mother of god...
17 March 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is from the early days of the BBC Shakespeare series, when they were young, naive and foolish, and before the budget shrivelled into minus numbers. To make 'As You Like It' they actually went outside, rather than to a studio, filming the play at Glamis Castle and a forest nearby, just to give it that epic quality. And they hired some of the best actors in the theatre, and gave them nearly 30 minutes to rehearse. Halcyon days.

It's awful.

Filming outdoors requires time and money, neither of which is on display here. The wind whips away the actors' words and blows their hair in their faces. And more intrusive are the animals. In a scene involving Corin, a flock of rare-breed sheep jumps over a gate while he is talking. The sheep are far more interesting than Corin (each one jumps in a slightly different way, and one of them nearly trips over). But the director seems to have the Ed Wood approach to such things ("It's realistic, because that's what would happen in real life"). Meanwhile, the opportunities offered by filming outdoors are wasted. Glamis Castle is perfect for the evil Duke's castle: it's a nasty-looking Gothic pile with pointy towers and a huge, looming bulk. And yet the director films on a gorgeous summer's day and manages to remove the slightest trace of Gothic gloom from the castle. And the forestry commission land looks just that. I'm sure I saw tyre-tracks on one of the country roads.

Even worse than the dodgy film-making is the child-like naivety of the interpretation, which frequently reminds one of amateur dramatics in a church hall. This is encapsulated in the hilarious entry of Hymen, who runs down a hill dressed like a member of Bjorn Again, and with a big cheesy grin on his face. It would be nice to think that this is an affectionate acknowledgement of the absurdity of the play's plot. Maybe I'd think that if it was openly metatheatrical, or deliberately camp. But the characters treat Hymen with awestruck wonder, and the poor viewer is left longing for something EITHER profound OR deliberately humorous.

Sadly, there are no decent films of 'As You Like It', but before you watch this one try to find Christine Edzard's 1992 version, which has its flaws, but has at least has had more than five minutes of thought put into it.


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