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All's Well That Ends Well (TV Movie 1981) Poster

(1981 TV Movie)

Trivia

Director Elijah Moshinsky composed many of the shots as live action replicas of the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.
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In line with producer Jonathan Miller's aesthetic policy, director Elijah Moshinsky used the work of artists as visual influence. Of particular importance was Georges de La Tour. Moshinsky showed some of de La Tour's work to lighting technician John Summers, as he wanted to capture the dark/light contrast of the work, as well as the prominence of silhouettes and chiaroscuro effects common in the paintings. Summers loved this idea and worked it into his lighting. For example, he lit the scene where the widow agrees to Helena's wager as if it was illuminated by a single candle. To achieve this, he used a projector bulb hidden by objects on the table to simulate the sense of a single bright light source.
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With the exception of one shot, every shot in the episode is an interior. The only exterior shot is that of Parolles as he passes the women looking out the window in Florence. However, the shot is framed in such a way that none of the surroundings are seen.
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For the shot where the King and Helena dance into the great hall, the scene was shot through a pane of glass which had the ceiling and walls of the hall painted on it, to give the appearance of a much larger and grander room than was actually present.
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It was Donald Sinden's idea for the scenes between the King and Helena to be so sexually charged.
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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.
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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."
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Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985.
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