Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.
A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »
Beaty is a prostitute working out of a high-class London cabaret where Emory is a technician. They begin an affair encumbered by her job, his lack of money, and their pasts: Beaty has a ... See full summary »
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »
Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on... See full summary »
The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »
When the Duke of Vienna takes a mysterious leave of absence and leaves the strict Angelo in charge, things couldn't be worse for Claudio, who is sentenced to death for premarital sex. His ... See full summary »
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 »
As many would know, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" has three separate plot threads, concerning the lovers, the fairy king and queen, and the Athenian worksmen. In this BBC production directed by Elijah Moshinsky, two of them work, one doesn't.
The rustics, like one reviewer says, just ain't funny. Brian Glover is disappointing as Bottom. He is totally miscast, as is Geoffrey Palmer's Quince. Also, Nigel Davenport's Theseus is too old.
Luckily, the females in the film make a splendid team, and the lovers' scenes work very well. It is enough to cancel out the disappointment concerning Bottom and his co-workers' subplot. Plaudits go especially to Helen Mirren's Titania and Cherith Mellor's Helena.
Elijah Moshinsky emphasizes the dark and ominous side of the play, with minimal lighting, and music by child fairies always lightening the mood.
All in all, this 1981 BBC production (in the Complete BBC Shakespeare series) is one worth catching.
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