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The Taming of the Shrew (1980)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Romance  -  23 October 1980 (UK)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 212 users  
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The swaggering Petruchio, eager to wive it wealthily in Padua, agrees to marry the spitting hellcat, Katherine.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anthony Pedley ...
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
...
Sarah Badel ...
Katherine
Jonathan Cecil ...
...
Harry Waters ...
...
David Kincaid ...
...
Baptista's Servant
Angus Lennie ...
Harry Webster ...
Gil Morris ...
Leslie Sarony ...
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Storyline

Baptista has two daughters: Kate and Bianca. Everyone wants to wed the fair Bianca, but nobody's much interested in problem child, Kate. Baptista declares that he won't give Bianca away in a marriage until he's found a husband for Kate, so all the suitors begin busily hunting out a madman who's willing to do it, and they find Petruchio: a man who's come to wive it wealthily in Padua. And Petruchio marries Kate with a plan to tame her, while everybody else begins scheming to win Bianca's hand. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

23 October 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

To imeroma tis striglas  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cleese had never performed Shakespeare prior to this film. Coupled with this, he had seen several of the BBC Television Shakespeare productions and been unimpressed with them. As such, it took a great deal of persuasion from director/producer Jonathan Miller to convince Cleese to appear. See more »

Connections

Version of The Taming of the Shrew (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cleanest, Funniest Telling of This Modern Tale of Men and Women
29 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Essentially, up until the last hundred or so years, women were property of their husbands and had little or no hope of having control over their own lives. But it does not follow that a woman in such circumstances would be docile by nature. Any woman can make a man happy or miserable depending on how she is managed. This play is a success story about how one man uses psychology to pave his way into a fortune and a prize wife. John Cleese is such an ingenious casting choice for the character of Petruchio in this still-relevant tale of the nature of men and women. Not only for his comedic dryness, but also for his advantage of size in portraying a blustery domineering character. If you admire him in his Python work and are afraid of Shakespeare, simply watch the first 10 minutes of this piece and if you are not captivated, scan forward to Cleese's powerful rendering of Petruchio's soliloquy. He ruins any other actor's chance at improving on his performance. On the other hand, ff you find Shakespeare to contain perennial truths and keen illustrations on the Nature of Mankind, then you will particularly enjoy the perfection of this version. The other actors don't ignorantly recite their lines, but truly convey their meaning through inflection and phrasing. Since Shakespeare often used artful and obscure language even by the standards of his time (this truth is mocked by the "knock me" sequence between Petruchio and Grumio), and gave no notes or stage direction to specifically instruct sarcasm or anger or cluelessness, it is a credit to the company when a Shakespeare play is skillfully revealed to a modern audience, as this one is. Further, the way this play is photographed is so masterfully fluid and economically managed it would not be difficult to fail to notice that the whole of the first 22 minutes is performed on the same 30x50 space.

As far as I'm concerned, this rendering of Taming of the Shrew is the gold standard by which all performances will be measured.


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