6.5/10
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223 user 95 critic

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 14 May 1999 (USA)
Lovers' lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and... love.

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Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,175 ( 438)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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A film adaptation of William Shakespeare's famous play in which four lovers sort out their problems with the help of fairies at midnight in the forest of Athens.

Director: Peter Hall
Stars: Derek Godfrey, Barbara Jefford, Nicholas Selby
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hermia
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Demetrius
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Hippolyta
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Robin Starveling
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Snug
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,285,620 (USA) (16 May 1999)

Gross:

$16,071,990 (USA) (29 August 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is Michelle Pfeiffer's first attempt at Shakespeare since her debut as an actress in a New York stage production of Twelfth Night. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Theseus: Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief? That is hot ice and wonderous strange snow.
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Connections

Featured in Charlie Rose: Episode dated 11 May 1999 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Brindisi
from the opera "La traviata"
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Renée Fleming and Marcello Giordani
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
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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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