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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1982)

TV Movie  -  Comedy | Fantasy
8.1
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Theseus has defeated Hippolyta in battle, and now claims her as his bride. But before the nuptials begin, a pair of young lovers flee into the forest to be married, pursued by a pair of ... See full summary »

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Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (TV Movie 1982)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (TV Movie 1982) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Theseus has defeated Hippolyta in battle, and now claims her as his bride. But before the nuptials begin, a pair of young lovers flee into the forest to be married, pursued by a pair of not-lovers. There, in the forest, live the fairies whose lives are in turmoil, due to the heated lovers' quarrels between their rulers, Oberon and Titania. Between the fairies, an ass's head, the lovers, a troupe of unsuspecting would-be actors, and a magic flower that can make people fall in love at first sight, it's a merry night of chaos and comedy until everything is put to rights. Written by Kathy Li

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Live and at its best
2 November 2000 | by (Kingston-upon-Thames, England) – See all my reviews

This is the best version of Midsummer's I've seen, of the three I've seen (1935, James Cagney as Bottom; 1981 BBC version, Nigel Davenport as Theseus; this one). I'm afraid, though, that all the fairy characters seem to be acting just a little too full of themselves, especially William Hurt. Not that that's too bad, especially in Hurt's case, because he's supposed to be kind of self-centered anyway. The rustics (eg. mechanicals, clowns) were very funny, especially in the Pyramus and Thisby scene at the end. This is the funniest version of Quince's prologue you'll find, and it's probably the way Shakespeare intended it, to boot! The lovers, though their haircuts and makeup date them like anything, act their parts well, and you can actually enjoy their super-long mid-play scene (if Hermia's voice doesn't drive you crazy). In this show Bottom and Puck don't seem to be the centers of the play, as in most productions. Probably the most engaging thing about this version of Midsummer's is that its live; although Shakespeare does remarkably well on film (considering its age), his works are still enjoyed best by the group he originally wrote them for, the live audience. I recommend this film for drama, Shakespeare, and film buffs alike.


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