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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  14 May 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 20,704 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 219 user | 94 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

Lovers' lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and... love.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | puck | lover | fairy | male nudity | See All (26) »


Love makes fools of us all. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

14 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,285,620 (USA) (14 May 1999)


£1,183,531 (UK) (15 October 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Michael Hoffman's first exposure to the play was in college in Boise, Idaho when he played Lysander. See more »


The medal and the red ribbon that Bottom is wearing when he leaves the theatre are different from those he's wearing when he arrives at home. See more »


Theseus: The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
Oberon: Now, until the break of day / Through this house each fairy stray. / To the best bride-bed will we, / Which by us shall blessed be; / So shall all the couples three / Ever true in loving be; / And the owner of it blest / Ever shall in safety rest. / Trip awa; make no stay; / Meet me all by break of day.
See more »


Version of Een Midzomernachtsdroom (1963) See more »


Casta diva
from the opera "Norma"
Composed by Vincenzo Bellini
Performed by Renée Fleming
Conducted by Terry Davies
with the London Voices, directed by Terry Edwards
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited, London
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprisingly faithful adaptation
19 October 2004 | by (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

As a general rule, I normally don't post comments unless I have enough time to write a thorough review, and have given it much thought before hand. I'm sorry, but even though it's 2am, I can't bear to go to sleep and let the review before me just sit there. Obviously the reviewer before me seems to have no idea that the complicities that arise from the various plots go back to Shakespeare himself - and it is a great achievement by this film to manage to keep all the plates spinning and all the stories interesting.

I am amazed by this film. I am a life-long Shakespeare fan and it's great to see a faithful American production. The British/American cast all worked fantasically well together - Christian Bale, Anna Friel, Dominic West, and Calista Flockheart were all perfectly cast as the four lovers. The fairies and the actors both worked very well to frame the story - and the director has managed to keep it both visually unique and incredibly entertaining.

I'm not quite sure why they decided to change the location from Greece to Italy, but in an age where Kenneth Branagh is trying to make a 1940s musical out of Love's Labour's Lost, I say, the changes could be a lot worse. All in all, this is a very impressive adaptation. I'm just happy to see that Shakespeare hasn't lost his appeal to modern audiences.

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