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 »

Director:

Writer:

(play)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Othello (TV Movie 1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A general becomes convinced that his wife is having an affair, even though there is no evidence.

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Anthony Pedley, Bob Hoskins, Geoffrey Chater
Troilus & Cressida (TV Movie 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the Trojan War, a Trojan warrior is distraught when his lover takes up with a Greek.

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Charles Gray, Anton Lesser, Tony Steedman
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Rodney Bennett
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart
Macbeth (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson
Titus Andronicus (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Roman warrior Titus Andronicus finds himself trapped in a nightmarish cycle of vengeance, misery, and bloodshed.

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: Paul Davies Prowles, Edward Hardwicke, Walter Brown
Twelfth Night (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »

Director: John Gorrie
Stars: Alec McCowen, Robert Hardy, Felicity Kendal
Romeo & Juliet (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson
The Comedy of Errors (TV Movie 1983)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Aegeon of Syracuse has come to Ephesus to seek his son, who went in search of his missing twin and mother months ago. Unfortunately, Ephesus has just declared war on Syracuse, and will ... See full summary »

Director: James Cellan Jones
Stars: Cyril Cusack, Charles Gray, Nicolas Chagrin
The Merchant of Venice (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Franklyn-Robbins, John Rhys-Davies, Alan David
Richard III (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Richard of Gloucester uses murder and manipulation to claim England's throne.

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: Peter Benson, Antony Brown, David Burke
The Tragedy of Coriolanus (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city.

Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Stars: Paul Jesson, Ray Roberts, Leon Lissek
Julius Caesar (TV Movie 1979)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for Brutus and the republic.

Director: Herbert Wise
Stars: Richard Pasco, Charles Gray, Keith Michell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
John Bird ...
Julian Curry ...
...
Harry Waters ...
...
John Grillo ...
Iain Armstrong ...
First Gentleman
...
Edit

Storyline

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 flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: King Lear  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Miller utilised a "board and drapes" approach to the play; all interiors were shot on or near a plain wooden platform whilst all exteriors were shot against a cycloramic curtain with dark tarpaulins. As such, although exteriors and interiors were clearly distinguished from one another, both were nonrepresentational. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tragedy of King Lear (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

one of the better BBC Shakespeares
18 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Let's get the niggles out of the way first - I didn't like the performances of either Julian Curry as Cornwall (too bored) or John Bird as Albany (ok but too John Bird). I felt some of the poetry of the text was muffed and therefore lost power, and there was little sense of scale - where were Lear's rowdy knights?

However, the good by far outweighs the bad. As the three daughters of Lear, Gillian Barge (Goneril), Penelope Wilton (Regan), and Brenda Blethyn (Cordelia) are all excellent. The eldest sisters are pure poison, plotting against their father and their land; while Blethyn gives the wronged youngest daughter quiet dignity. John Shrapnel made an excellent Kent, at times quarrelsome, at others lordly as became his hidden persona.

Good stuff too from John Grillo as the sneaky servant Oswald, from Anton Lesser as Edgar (and Tom a Bedlam), and from Norman Rodway as the Earl of Gloucester - the scene where he has his eyes plucked out, seen only from behind, is played very well, as are subsequent scenes with the disguised Edgar and Lear. Michael Kitchen is a fairly interesting Edmund, but looks a bit cartoonish in places, all that conspiratorial glancing at the camera.

I wasn't that keen on Frank Middlemass' take on the Fool but I have never had much patience with anyone in that part - perhaps he did what he could with some fairly poor bits of speech and action.

I've left Lear himself till last. I didn't think at first that Michael Hordern was quite right - but following the storm he comes into his own, and by the final act and scenes with Cordelia and following, he gives the character a human side that's lacking from many productions - even Olivier came short of the scene where Lear recognises he is in the presence of his youngest and much wronged daughter. It is an interesting performance that repays re-watching and a fascinating contrast to other versions available to view.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?