The Winter's Tale (1981)

TV Movie  |   |  8 June 1981 (USA)
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King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Welsh ...
Anna Calder-Marshall ...
Jeremy Dimmick ...
Merelina Kendall ...
Susan Brodrick ...
Lady to Hermione
Leonard Kavanagh ...
Lord to Leontes
John Bailey ...
Lord to Leontes
William Relton ...
Lord to Leontes
Cornelius Garrett ...
Servant to Leontes


King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

8 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As with all of Jane Howell's productions, this episode was performed on a single set. The change of the seasons, so critical to the movement of the play, is indicated by a lone tree whose leaves change colour as the year moves on, with the background a monochromatic cycloramic curtain, which changed colour in tune with the changing colour of the leaves. See more »


Referenced in Grizzly Man (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Well acted and scholarly adaptation of "A Winter's Tale"
30 April 2002 | by (New England, USA) – See all my reviews

When watching this screen adaptation of "A Winter's Tale," one must first keep in mind that this is a BBC production and an ensemble cast of actors. This is not Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and should not be confused as such. That aside, it is one of the better Shakespeare plays produced and is what a real Elizabethan citizen might have seen in their time. There is no pop and circumstance to detract from the text of the play. The scenes are well acted and beautifully played out by some of the best ensemble Shakespearean actors to ever cross the stage.

Jeremy Kempt gives a wonderful portrayal of the tormented King Leontes and is well supported by David Burke as Camillo. Hermione is given a delicate sense of nobility by Anna Calder-Marshall and brings the grounding feminine presence to the play. Not to be overlooked is Margaret Tyzach who plays the proud and noble Paulina who defends Hermione in her darkest days. The only two lacking performances were those of Perdita and Florizel played by Debbie Farrington and Robert Kermode respectively, although I blame their bland performances on being young and inexperienced.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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