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All's Well That Ends Well (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Romance  -  4 January 1981 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 79 users  
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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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Title: All's Well That Ends Well (TV Movie 1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Johnson ...
...
Bertram
...
Lafeu
Angela Down ...
Helena
Peter Jeffrey ...
Kevin Stoney ...
Countess's Stewart
...
King of France
...
First French Lord
...
Second French Lord
...
Lavache
James Simmons ...
Bachelor
John Segal ...
Bachelor
Peter Sands ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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

Director Elijah Moshinsky composed many of the shots as live action replicas of the paintings of Johannes Vermeer. See more »

Connections

Version of All's Well That Ends Well (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
2 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This award-winning BBC production brings life, enormous appeal, and intelligence to a play criminally underperformed. It's a pleasure to watch ... and re-watch ... and re-watch.

Let's start with the fact that the production itself has been hailed far and wide for its beauty and visual precision. Director Elijah Moshinsky patterned it after paintings of Vermeer, and even though this may be unknown to the viewer, it has a remarkable subliminal impact.

Now for the cast:

Angela Down is the truly perfect Helena (the heroine of the play). She looks the part -- comely yet intellectual -- and speaks her lines with the perfect emotional fit. Most importantly, her diction and enunciation, and the speed at which she says the bard's words, make everything she says perfectly understandable and perfectly apt within that emotional fit. The viewer never has to wonder "What did she just say?" or "What does that mean?" Nonetheless the lines are fluid, musical, emotional, and very human. To me, this is the sign of a true Shakespearean actor.

Celia Johnson as the Countess Roussillon (Bertram's mother and Helena's guardian) is equally fantastic. She's a pleasure to watch and listen to. Consummate acting.

Ian Charleson as Bertram, Helena's very reluctant love object, is suitably sullen and morose, yet we see the physical beauty and the inherent charm, nobility, and charisma which attracts Helena to him. Charleson, a very internal actor, never overplays the part. To some extent he sometimes almost underplays it, occasionally speaking softly whilst his compatriots declaim more loudly or forcefully. Yet he holds our attention and fits the role very well.

The supporting cast is almost without exception quite admirable -- some remarkably so. Excellent casting, and a lot of excellent acting.

All in all, a very good production which makes the play easy to understand and enjoy.

Highly recommended.


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