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The second televised production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Helen Mirren in the cast, although this time in a different role (Titania). In the 1968 production, which was released to movie theatres in Europe, but premiered in the U.S. on CBS-TV, Ms. Mirren played Hermia. See more »
The worst (professional) Shakespeare production I've ever seen.
Unsalted, humorless, and without a charm, this is mind-bogglingly the work of professionals from the BBC. Line by line, the actors strangle the life out of one of the bard's most accessible yet most wild and original plays. The lovers aren't in love, the dreamer Bottom has no insides with which to dream, Hippolyta and Theseus are soporific and some of the fairies have cheaply synthesized voices. Believe it. Any time, money or talent captured by this film seems to have gone into production design. A few sources (including reviewers here) mention the production's use of the Old Masters' paintings for tableaux vivants in the scenes. If they had just made a nice, corny little series of staged paintings, instead of trying to glue the paintings on to a Shakespeare play, I wouldn't be wondering, thirty years later, why the director Elijah Moshinsky has such contempt for the art of acting, or even the proper use of glue.
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