7.1/10
213,593
788 user 131 critic

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Trailer
1:42 | Trailer
The world's greatest ever playwright, William Shakespeare, is young, out of ideas and short of cash, but meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Director:

John Madden
Reviews
Popularity
2,451 ( 236)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Rush ... Philip Henslowe
Tom Wilkinson ... Hugh Fennyman
Steven O'Donnell ... Lambert
Tim McMullan ... Frees (as Tim McMullen)
Joseph Fiennes ... Will Shakespeare
Steven Beard Steven Beard ... Makepeace - the Preacher
Antony Sher ... Dr. Moth
Patrick Barlow Patrick Barlow ... Will Kempe
Martin Clunes ... Richard Burbage
Sandra Reinton Sandra Reinton ... Rosaline
Simon Callow ... Tilney - Master of the Revels
Judi Dench ... Queen Elizabeth
Bridget McConnell Bridget McConnell ... Lady in Waiting (as Bridget McConnel)
Georgie Glen ... Lady in Waiting
Nicholas Boulton ... Henry Condell
Edit

Storyline

William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is a known but struggling poet, playwright, and actor, who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush) and Richard Burbage (Martin Clunes), 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 (Gwyneth Paltrow). 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 sees 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 (Colin Firth). As the company rehearses his new play, ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is the only inspiration See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

By winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, Dame Judi Dench completed an odd Academy Award first. She and Charles Laughton, who had won an Oscar for playing the title role in The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933), became the first acting pair to win Oscars for portraying a parent and child in separate movies. Two others had been nominated for each of those parts: Richard Burton in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (1998). Another pair would later win Oscars for playing a royal father and daughter separately: Dame Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006), and Colin Firth in The King's Speech (2010). Mirren had previously also played Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth I (2005), and the latter movie reunited Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush from this movie. See more »

Goofs

One of the main plots involves William Shakespeare creating the story of Romeo & Juliet, making it up as he goes along. In fact, these characters and their basic story were written about before Shakespeare was born, and he was adapting the older tale for the stage. The filmmakers knew this. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The Region 2 DVD contains some deleted scenes:
  • A different end sequence. Here the conversation between Will and Viola is shorter than in the final film. After Viola has left Burbage enters and stops Will from running after Viola. He also takes the 50 pounds and says "Welcome to the Chamberlain's Men". The scene where Lord Wessex's ship sinks is also different. Here we see that Viola survives the drowning and is washed ashore an unknown coast. There she asks two people where she is. Their reply is "This is America".
  • A slightly different version of the scene where Burbank and his men fight against Will and his actors in the theatre. The sequence is largely the same as the scene used in the final film but parts are shown from different angles. A small conversation between Fennyman and Henslowe is added where they discuss about business.
  • A small scene which takes place after Henslowe has announced the audition. Here the two actors John and James walk to the court to play witnesses. When they meet the other actors and hear that Will Shakespeare needs actors for his new play they follow them to the audition.
  • A deleted take where Tom Wilkinson announces that he will be playing the apothecary. To Rushs question "How does the comedy end?" Fiennes replys "By God, I wish I knew". Then Rush says "By God, if you do not, who does? Let us have pirates, clowns and a happy ending and you'll make Harvey Weinstein a happy man."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Upstart Crow: I Did Adore a Twinkling Star (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Creative idea of Shakespeares writing of Romeo & Juliet
12 November 2019 | by kriskaiser420See all my reviews

By no means an acurate portrayal, how could it be? Does anyone REALLY know what happened then? Definitely a delightful enactment where He meets HIS Juilette and the game is on. Complete with balcony scenes, the great Judy Dench as Queen Elizabeth and a myriad host of todays brightest actors. The script is fun & lively, well acted & moves along in good measure. It is comical, heart warming and good clean fun. I watch it frequently.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 788 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare in Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Barnes, London, England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$224,012, 13 December 1998

Gross USA:

$100,317,794

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$289,317,794
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed