Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed ...
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Ian McKellen gives a tour-de-force performance as Shakespeare's tragic titular monarch in this special television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of one of the playwright's most enduring and haunting works.
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James Cellan Jones
A televised Royal Shakespeare Company production of August Strindberg's classic play. Miss Julie (Helen Mirren), a 19th century aristocrat's daughter, is attracted to one of the servants in her father's house.
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Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed as a boy) goes in search of her husband, who meanwhile has boasted to his pal Iachimo that Imogen would never betray him. And Iachimo's determined to prove him wrong. Written by
During the episode, the battle between the Romans and the Britons is never shown on screen; all that is seen is a single burning building, intended to indicate the general strife; we never see the defeat of Iachimo, Posthumous sparing him or Iachimo's reaction. Elijah Moshinsky did not want to expunge the political context of the play, but he was not especially interested in the military theme, and so removed most of it, with an aim to focus instead on the personal. See more »
Cymbeline has been described as an experimental tragi-comedy, or among the first dramatic romances, but neither is adequate to describe the perfection of the final scene of the play when Shakespeare weaves golden unity from the chaos of loose threads. Mr. Moshinsky breathes life into this production by using the palette of the great Dutch Masters whose paintings minutely chronicle the mundane but serve as visual metaphors for the existence of the transcendent which underscores every moment. In a great cast, two performances really stand out. Helen Mirren's Imogen, the symbol of fidelity, resonates with tragic depth and constancy. The range of her voice is given full sweep especially in the ironic scene in the cave after she awakens from her drugged sleep. Claire Bloom's Queen, a very glacial villainess, scared me much more than if she had been portrayed as a stock evil step-mother.
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