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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  8 January 1999 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 143,341 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 740 user | 126 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

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Title: Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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Won 7 Oscars. Another 51 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lambert
Tim McMullan ...
Frees (as Tim McMullen)
...
Steven Beard ...
Makepeace - the Preacher
...
Dr. Moth
Patrick Barlow ...
...
Sandra Reinton ...
...
...
Bridget McConnell ...
Lady in Waiting (as Bridget McConnel)
Georgie Glen ...
Lady in Waiting
...
Henry Condell
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Storyline

Will Shakespeare is a known but struggling poet, playwright and actor who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslow and Richard Burbidge but now faces a far more difficult problem: he is bereft of ideas and has yet to begin writing. He is in search of his muse, the woman who will inspire him but all attempts fail him until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. She loves the theatre and would like nothing more than to take to the stage but is forbidden from doing so as only men can be actors. She is also a great admirer of Shakespeare's works. Dressing as a man and going by the name of Thomas Kent, she auditions and is ideal for a part in his next play. Shakespeare soon see through her disguise and they begin a love affair, one they know cannot end happily for them as he is already married and she has been promised to the dour Lord Wessex. As the company rehearses his new play, Will and Viola's love is transferred to the written page leading to the masterpiece that is ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is the only inspiration See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare in Love  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,819,385 (UK) (29 January 1999)

Gross:

$100,241,322 (USA) (23 July 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?" that actors recite during the audition came from Christopher Marlowe's play "Doctor Faustus." See more »

Goofs

When Will and Viola are in bed together the morning after their first tryst, the bed sheets are pulled to provide concealment in such a way that only someone not in the bed (and off camera) could physically do. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Philip Henslowe: [screams in pain]
Hugh Fennyman: Henslowe! Do you know what happens to a man who doesn't pay his debts? His boots catch fire!
Philip Henslowe: [screams]
Hugh Fennyman: Why do you howl when it is I who am bitten?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Play & the Marriage
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Warbeck
Performed by Catherine Bott
Conducted by Nick Ingman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How can anybody like this film?
5 February 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

It seems strange to me that Shakespeare in Love has been given so much space by the critics. I found it to be a dull and uninspired movie. The casting was awful (two unpleasant and barely talented leads in one film). Gwyneth Paltrow looking more like a duck than ever, giving her whole range of head movements. As for the plot, well, where can I start. Shakespeare has run out of ideas. He falls in love with a noble-woman (cue much mistaken identity, mistaken gender, in the style of Romeo and Juliet). Through the relationship with Viola (the tepid Paltrow) Shakespeare is inspired to write, yes, you guessed it, Romeo and Juliet. The problem with Shakespeare in Love is that you can see things coming a mile off, jokes, plot, references to historical figures. The only truly funny moments that I found were those in which members of The Fast Show (hilarious British comedy) were on screen. If you feel the need to go and see this film - take a moment and consider seeing one of Shakespeare's own plays which provide all the things that Shakespeare in Love fails to. And are a lot less hackneyed.


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