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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 143,064 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)

Shakespeare in Love (1998) on IMDb 7.2/10

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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
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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

Will is shown signing a paper, with six illegible signatures visible. Several versions of Shakespeare's signature exist, all of which are different. This has led to debate about whether William Shakespeare may actually have been illiterate. See more »

Goofs

William Shakespeare/Romeo tends to Ned/Mercutio by kneeling to Mercutio's right, and, in doing so, violates the first "rule" of stage acting, which is to never hinder the audience's view of the stage or the actors. 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

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Mr. & Mrs. Brown (2013) 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

An Abundance of Riches
20 June 1999 | by See all my reviews

A romantic comedy does not get much better than Shakespeare in Love. Here is a movie that captures the feel of England 400 years ago. It is romantic yet light. It is funny but is complex enough to provide enjoyment for fans of literature.

The sets of England 400 years ago, the costumes and the character's makeup including their bad dental work were just right. You could almost smell those streets. The hero, Shakespeare, is excellently played by Joseph Fiennes. He is sympathetic but never pathetic. As for Gwyneth Paltrow, she shows her range from boyishness to radiance. This is the first film I have seen her in where I believed she could become a great actress. There is also a great supporting cast, especially Judi Dench, who all have good melodramatic and comic instincts.

The film never plods. The screenplay is rich with romance, emotion and action. The plot weaves several stories and themes. You can enjoy it as a simple love story with some action and basic suspense about producing a play or you can get much deeper into movie's complex tapestry of ideas and in jokes. But most importantly the film's mood is always light and is never overblown (unlike another recent movie about unfulfilled love, Great Expectations).

Deserving of its Oscar, this is simply a great film.


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