Helena loves Bertram, but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France, who is ill, and Helena has a remedy that might cure ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Johnson ...
...
Bertram
...
Lafeu
Angela Down ...
Helena
Peter Jeffrey ...
Kevin Stoney ...
Rinaldo
...
King of France
...
Captain Dumain
...
Captain Dumain
...
Lavache
...
Bachelor
John Segal ...
Bachelor
...
Bachelor
Yves Aubert ...
Bachelor
Terence McGinity ...
First Gentleman
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Storyline

Helena loves Bertram, but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France, who is ill, and Helena has a remedy that might cure him and win her the right to marry Bertram. But does Bertram want to marry her? Written by Kathy Li

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

4 January 1981 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening shot is a long shot of Helena, before eventually moving in to a close up. Of this opening, Elijah Moshinsky commented "I wanted to start with a long shot of Helena and not move immediately to close-up - I didn't want too much identification with her, I wanted a picture of a woman caught in an obsession, with the camera static when she speaks, clear, judging her words. I wanted to start with long shots because I felt they were needed to place people in their context and for the sake of atmosphere. I wanted the atmosphere to help carry the story." See more »

Connections

Version of All's Well That Ends Well (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memorably Beautiful
24 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

The production design of this video is based on paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, de la Tour and others. It is uniformly striking and lovely, and will live in the memory.

The acting performances are good, but uneasy, perhaps reflecting the problematic nature of the play. Ian Charleson's Bertram is cold, Angela Down's Helen is weepy, and so they stay for yards and yards of iambic pentameter. Only Donald Sinden as the King errs on the side of too much emotional variety, but it's hard to remember a Sinden performance in which he wasn't an explosive law unto himself. Michael Hordern and Peter Jeffrey battle deftly as Lafeu and Parolles, while Paul Brooke's Lavache is more menacing than witty. Pippa Guard's Diana is unfailingly dignified, and a small cameo by the aged Valentine Dyall proves unexpectedly moving. And as the Countess, Celia Johnson's presence is every bit as sympathetic here as it was in "Brief Encounter" 35 years earlier.

Any dissatisfactions mentioned in this review are just quibbles, however, as the play is rare and worthwhile, the production gratifies the eye, and no one writes a closing reconciliation scene like Shakespeare. Indeed, All's Well That Ends Well.


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