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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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Antonio
Sidney Livingstone ...
Captain (as Sid Livingstone)
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James Walker ...
Priest
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...
...
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Alan Mitchell ...
Valentine
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Fabian
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...
First Officer
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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:

Before Priscilla crossed the desert, Wong Foo met Julie Newmar, and the Birdcage was unlocked, there was... 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 USA:

$33,451, 27 October 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$551,545, 22 December 1996
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Kingsley and Nigel Hawthorne previously appeared in Gandhi (1982). 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

Olivia: I heard you were saucy at my gates, and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you.
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Connections

Version of Macbeth II: The Themes of Macbeth (1964) 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

 
A lovely adaptation
16 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Trevor Nunn's adaptation of Twelfth Night is exceptionally beautiful, well acted, and emotionally engaging. Ben Kingsley's performance as the Fool stands out as magnificent, but the entire ensemble comes off very well. The film nails both the joy and the darkness of Shakespeare's play - and the play, make no mistake, contains plenty of dark and strange moments when things go, as the drunken uncle Sir Toby Belch says, "Out of tune, sir." The filmmakers deserve credit for not glossing over the shades of sadism in Toby's treatment of Malvolio or the shallow fickleness of Orsino's character. The wintry Cornwall setting dovetails perfectly with the mood of the play, half sun and half shadow, and the costume design (roughly Edwardian, though I am not an expert on fashion history) creatively evokes the luxury of Orsino and Olivia's courtly world, while allowing for - even necessitating - the brilliant re-imagining of the Fool as bohemian vagabond.


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