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The Tempest (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  27 February 1980 (UK)
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Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Godfrey ...
David Waller ...
David Dixon ...
John Nettleton ...
Alan Rowe ...
Pippa Guard ...
Christopher Guard ...
Kenneth Gilbert ...
Edwin Brown ...
Paul Greenhalgh ...
Christopher Bramwell ...


Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 February 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Tempest  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode used a 360-degree set which allowed actors to move from the beach to the cliff to the orchard without cutting. See more »


Version of Tempest (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Stolid storm
9 November 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

The Tempest is a beautiful tale set in the enchanting, vivid panorama of an island holding Prospero, his daughter Miranda and the respective consequences when usurped by a congregation of ship waders. What struck me most was the allusion in the end to Shakespeare's own seclusion from play-writing and the feeling of emptiness and dolor at being forgotten by his own patrons after his decline.

This version strictly focuses on the performances and the theatricality of the play. The film has no artistic vision. The island seems empty and desolate, which seems incongruous since Prospero is a magician. The adaptation also never touches the soul, it manages to stay complacent and prosaic mainly because everyone is acting.

However, the performances are commendable, especially from Pippa Guard, Michael Hordern, Andrew Sachs and Warren Clarke. Though the play itself acts supercilious in conveying the emotions and the performances lack the emotional intensity (In Sophie;s Choice, Meryl Streep gave a consummate effort by including all aspects of a performance. Everything was perfect yet imperfect since she just let out all the inner feelings of an actor at the right time i.e the Choice scene where she did the genius work of not improvising). Here everything looks improvised, meticulously done and relied on the vastly spectacular script by the veteran Shakespeare.

Its still beautiful as the screenplay is original (thank God there was no sloppy editing). Nigel Hawthorne unfortunately did not seem to be drunk in any way, just a deluded, pompous butler. But Andrew Sachs cleverly played Trinculo. Pippa Guard gave her best shot and so did Michael Horden. Warren Clarke played an egregious, sycophantic and contemptible Caliban spot-on, especially that silly dance sequence where his ghastly steps seemed apt for the loathsome monster. Others were forgettable and Christopher Guard was unforgivably bad and clumsily dazed. Ariel's character was a shocker (a flesh-colored dress would have been better) and so was the dance of the spirits, that was uncomfortable. 8 out of 10.

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