The BBC Television Shakespeare Collection (1978-1985)

by GusF | created - 04 Jul 2016 | updated - 19 Mar 2018 | Public
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1. Romeo & Juliet (1978 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 168 min | Drama, Romance

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff | Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson, Michael Hordern

Votes: 363

2. Richard II (1978 TV Movie)

158 min | Biography, Drama, History

The incompetent King Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer King.

Director: David Giles | Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Jon Finch, Wendy Hiller

Votes: 242

3. As You Like It (1978 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 151 min | Comedy

After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.

Director: Basil Coleman | Stars: Helen Mirren, Brian Stirner, Richard Pasco, Angharad Rees

Votes: 268

4. Julius Caesar (1979 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 161 min | Drama, History

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for Brutus and the republic.

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Richard Pasco, Charles Gray, Keith Michell, David Collings

Votes: 189

5. Measure for Measure (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama

When the Duke of Vienna takes a mysterious leave of absence and leaves the strict Angelo in charge, things couldn't be worse for Claudio, who is sentenced to death for premarital sex. His ... See full summary »

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Kenneth Colley, Kate Nelligan, Tim Pigott-Smith, Christopher Strauli

Votes: 171

6. Henry VIII (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 166 min | History

Henry VIII is a proud and wilful monarch who defies Rome's ban on divorce to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Cardinal Wolsey, the Powerful Lord Chancellor of England, attempts to bend Rome ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Billington | Stars: John Stride, Julian Glover, Ronald Pickup, Barbara Kellerman

Votes: 94

7. Henry IV Part I (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama

Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed "Hotspur"). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »

Director: David Giles | Stars: Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Rob Edwards, Robert Brown

Votes: 159

8. Henry IV Part II (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 150 min | Drama

Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed "Hotspur"). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »

Director: David Giles | Stars: Jon Finch, David Gwillim, Rob Edwards, Martin Neil

Votes: 108

9. Henry V (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 170 min | Biography, Drama, War

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: David Giles | Stars: John Abineri, Robert Ashby, Trevor Baxter, Rod Beacham

Votes: 111

10. Twelfth Night (1980 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Alec McCowen, Robert Hardy, Felicity Kendal, Annette Crosbie

Votes: 206

11. The Tempest (1980 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 125 min | Drama

Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Michael Hordern, Derek Godfrey, David Waller, Warren Clarke

Votes: 259

12. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1980 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 210 min | Drama

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the Prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Rodney Bennett | Stars: Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart, Eric Porter

Votes: 506

13. The Taming of the Shrew (1980 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 127 min | Comedy, Romance

The swaggering Petruchio agrees to marry the spitting hellcat, Katherine.

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: Simon Chandler, Anthony Pedley, John Franklyn-Robbins, Frank Thornton

Votes: 287

14. The Merchant of Venice (1980 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 157 min | Comedy, Drama

A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: John Franklyn-Robbins, John Rhys-Davies, Alan David, John Nettles

Votes: 225

15. All's Well That Ends Well (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 141 min | Comedy, Romance

Helena loves Bertram, but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France, who is ill, and Helena has a remedy that might cure ... See full summary »

Director: Elijah Moshinsky | Stars: Celia Johnson, Ian Charleson, Michael Hordern, Angela Down

Votes: 108

16. The Winter's Tale (1981 TV Movie)

173 min | Comedy, Drama

King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: John Welsh, David Burke, Robert Stephens, Jeremy Kemp

Votes: 113

17. Timon of Athens (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

Timon loves to give parties and objects to friends, but when he cannot pay his creditors, his "friends" refuse to help him, and he becomes a misanthropic hermit.

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: John Fortune, John Bird, Tony Jay, David Kinsey

Votes: 91

18. Antony & Cleopatra (1981 TV Movie)

170 min | Drama, History, Romance

After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: John Paul, Jonathan Adams, Jane Lapotaire, Colin Blakely

Votes: 93

19. Othello (1981 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 195 min | Drama, Romance

General Othello (Sir Anthony Hopkins) becomes convinced that his wife is having an affair, even though there is no evidence.

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: Anthony Pedley, Bob Hoskins, Geoffrey Chater, Alexander Davion

Votes: 360

20. Troilus & Cressida (1981 TV Movie)

190 min | Drama

During the Trojan War, a Trojan warrior is distraught when his lover takes up with a Greek.

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: Charles Gray, Anton Lesser, Tony Steedman, Suzanne Burden

Votes: 100

21. A Midsummer Night's Dream (I) (1981 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 112 min | Comedy

The adventures of four young lovers, a group of amateur actors and their interactions with fairies come to light in a moonlit forest.

Director: Elijah Moshinsky | Stars: Estelle Kohler, Nigel Davenport, Hugh Quarshie, Geoffrey Lumsden

Votes: 244

22. King Lear (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 180 min | Drama

King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: John Shrapnel, Norman Rodway, Michael Kitchen, Michael Hordern

Votes: 217

23. The Merry Wives of Windsor (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 170 min | Comedy, Romance

When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Window wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones | Stars: Alan Bennett, Richard O'Callaghan, Tenniel Evans, Bryan Marshall

Votes: 113

24. Cymbeline (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 175 min | Drama, Comedy

Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed ... See full summary »

Director: Elijah Moshinsky | Stars: Richard Johnson, Michael Pennington, Claire Bloom, Robert Lindsay

Votes: 139

25. The First Part of King Henry VI (1983 TV Movie)

188 min | Drama, History

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France, young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the Duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Brenda Blethyn, Antony Brown

Votes: 98

26. The Second Part of King Henry VI (1983 TV Movie)

203 min | Drama, History

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Antony Brown, David Burke

Votes: 80

27. The Third Part of King Henry VI (1983 TV Movie)

211 min | Drama, History

Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: John Benfield, Peter Benson, Gerald Blackmore, Antony Brown

Votes: 77

28. Richard III (1983 TV Movie)

239 min | Drama

Richard of Gloucester uses murder and manipulation to claim England's throne.

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: Peter Benson, Antony Brown, David Burke, Michael Byrne

Votes: 160

29. Macbeth (I) (1983 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 148 min | Drama

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson, Mark Dignam

Votes: 296

30. The Comedy of Errors (1983 TV Movie)

109 min | Comedy

Aegeon of Syracuse has come to Ephesus to seek his son, who went in search of his missing twin and mother months ago. Unfortunately, Ephesus has just declared war on Syracuse, and will ... See full summary »

Director: James Cellan Jones | Stars: Cyril Cusack, Charles Gray, Nicolas Chagrin, Nick Burnell

Votes: 149

31. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 137 min | Comedy

In 16th century Italy, two inseparable friends suddenly become rivals for the love of a noblewoman.

Director: Don Taylor | Stars: Frank Barrie, Tessa Peake-Jones, Hetta Charnley, Tyler Butterworth

Votes: 92

32. The Tragedy of Coriolanus (1984 TV Movie)

145 min | Drama, History

A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city.

Director: Elijah Moshinsky | Stars: Paul Jesson, Ray Roberts, Leon Lissek, Jon Rumney

Votes: 99

33. The Life and Death of King John (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 155 min | Drama

King John does whatever it takes to keep himself on the throne of England, making enemies of the pope, France, and his nephew along the way.

Director: David Giles | Stars: Leonard Rossiter, William Whymper, Mary Morris, Robert Brown

Votes: 88

34. Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1984 TV Movie)

177 min | Drama

When Pericles discovers the dread answer to Antioch's riddle, he flees for his life straight into famine, shipwreck, love, fatherhood, and another shipwreck; he loses his wife and daughter,... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones | Stars: Edward Petherbridge, John Woodvine, Edita Brychta, Mike Gwilym

Votes: 79

35. Much Ado About Nothing (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 148 min | Comedy, Romance

Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Burge | Stars: Lee Montague, Tim Faulkner, Cherie Lunghi, Katharine Levy

Votes: 195

36. Love's Labour's Lost (1985 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Romance

A scholarly king and his three companions swear off the society of women for three years, only to have a diplomatic visit from a French princess and her three ladies-in-waiting thwart their intentions.

Director: Elijah Moshinsky | Stars: Jonathan Kent, Christopher Blake, Geoffrey Burridge, Mike Gwilym

Votes: 87

37. Titus Andronicus (1985 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 168 min | Drama, Horror

Roman warrior Titus Andronicus finds himself trapped in a nightmarish cycle of vengeance, misery, and bloodshed.

Director: Jane Howell | Stars: Paul Davies Prowles, Edward Hardwicke, Walter Brown, Brian Protheroe

Votes: 128



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