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:
...
...
Bertram
...
Lafeu
Angela Down ...
Helena
...
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  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elijah Moshinsky has made contradictory statements about the end of the play. In the printed script, he indicated he felt that Bertram kissing Helena is a happy ending, but in press material for the US broadcast, he said he found the end to be sombre because none of the young characters had learnt anything. See more »

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

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User Reviews

 
Shakespeare's Dark Tale of Obsession and Desire!
11 January 2006 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

Chaste, thoughtful Helena loves cold, self-centered Bertram. But when the handsome young man rejects her common birth with aristocratic scorn, unexpected events lead to deception and passion! This dark Shakespeare play is one of the real gems of the BBC collection. Everything is right about the costumes, the actors, the sets, and the lush sensuality of the presentation. Ian Charleson as Bertram is more of a villain than a hero through much of the play, laughing at Helena's tears and running off to play with his soldier friends. Yet when lust strikes him in turn, he is humbled. Pippa Guard is refined and hauntingly beautiful as Diana, the girl from the "wrong side of the tracks" (or the Elizabethan equivalent) whom the haughty Bertram plans to seduce. Diana is not just a cheap tramp. She has a desperate purity. Far from welcoming the noble's advances, she reacts like a frightened deer, or a cornered rabbit, shying from Bertram's cynical touch. Only the shrewd scheming of Helena and her high-born friends (including a king who recognizes her true worth) allows her to capture Bertram's heart at last. Humbled and humiliated by his total downfall, (and Diana's scorn) Bertram falls into forgiving Helena's open arms and proclaims his passionate devotion.

A sexy play, full of romantic longing, arrogant elegance, and sheer unadulterated desire!


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