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Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996)

Shakespeare's comedy of gender confusion, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sidney Livingstone ...
Captain (as Sid Livingstone)
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James Walker ...
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Alan Mitchell ...
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Storyline

Brother and sister Viola and Sebastian, who are not only very close but look a great deal alike, are in a shipwreck, and both think the other dead. When she lands in a foreign country, Viola dresses as her brother and adopts the name Cesario, becoming a trusted friend and confidante to the Count Orsino. Orsino is madly in love with the lady Olivia, who is in mourning due to her brother's recent death, which she uses as an excuse to avoid seeing the count, whom she does not love. He sends Cesario to do his wooing, and Olivia falls in love with the disguised maiden. Things get more complicated in this bittersweet Shakespeare comedy when a moronic nobleman, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and a self-important servant, Malvolio, get caught up in the schemes of Olivia's uncle, the obese, alcoholic Sir Toby, who leads each to believe Olivia loves him. As well, Sebastian surfaces in the area, and of course there is Feste, the wise fool, around to keep everything in perspective and to marvel, like we ... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never send a boy to do a man's job, especially if he's a girl. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelfth Night  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$33,451 (USA) (25 October 1996)

Gross:

$551,545 (USA) (20 December 1996)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helena Bonham Carter and Imelda Staunton also appear together in the Harry Potter films, with Toby Stephens's mother, Maggie Smith. See more »

Goofs

During one of the final scenes, when Malvolio reenters, it can be seen that his left shoe is missing. However, as he is walking up the stairs, you can clearly hear both heels clicking on the steps. See more »

Quotes

Malvolio: I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you.
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Connections

Version of Macbeth (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Heigh-Ho, The Wind and the Rain
Music by Shaun Davey
Words by William Shakespeare
Sung by Ben Kingsley
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User Reviews

 
Excellent
29 May 2003 | by (London,England) – See all my reviews

Reading other reviews of 'Twelfth Night' it is interesting to see that some people think it is a slow film and others quite fast. It gripped me from the opening gust of rain on a dark night to Feste dancing off into the sunset. Grappling with Shakespeare is a perilous activity but I thought Trevor Nunn brought out the comedy and the emotions of the story well. It is a film to make you smile at the follies of mankind but also their charm.

Ben Kingsley is amazing. I've never seen Feste played that way but it seemed perfect. Imogen Stubbs does the comedy and the drama equally well. The scene with Orsino in the bathtub is a stock one but she does it beautifully, balancing the humour of the situation with the tenderness and the longing. Imelda Staunton brings unusual depth to the character of Maria. The rest of the cast are great too.

The text of the play is changed around but not unnaturally so. The scene that cuts between Feste's song and Viola/Cesario and Orsino playing cards is wonderful, taking in eight of the characters and telling you more about them. The last act of the play is difficult to stage well but Nunn gives it a good shot.

The Cornwall setting is lovely, the radiant sunshine, the green leaves and fine buildings are captured gorgeously by the cameras. I also liked the music very much and find some of the tunes quite hummable.

Very enjoyable and worth seeing again and again.


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