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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 30 October 1935 (USA)
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »

Writers:

William Shakespeare (by), Charles Kenyon (arranged for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Hunter ... Theseus - Duke of Athens
Verree Teasdale ... Hippolyta - Queen of the Amazons - Betrothed to Theseus
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Philostrate - Master of Revels to Theseus
Dick Powell ... Lysander - In Love with Hermia
Ross Alexander ... Demetrius - In Love with Hermia
Olivia de Havilland ... Hermia - In Love with Lysander (as Olivia de Haviland)
Jean Muir ... Helena - In Love with Demetrius
Grant Mitchell ... Egeus - Father to Hermia
Frank McHugh ... Quince - the Carpenter
Dewey Robinson ... Snug - the Joiner
James Cagney ... Bottom - the Weaver
Joe E. Brown ... Flute - the Bellows-Mender
Hugh Herbert ... Snout - the Tinker
Otis Harlan ... Starveling - the Tailor
Arthur Treacher ... Epilogue
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Storyline

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the kingdom of fairies have a slight quarrel about whether or not the boy Titania is raising will join Titania's band or Oberon's, so Oberon tries to get him from her by using some magic. But they're not alone in that forest.Lysander and Hermina have there a rendezvous, Helena and Demetrius are there, too as well as some actors, who are practicing a play for the ongoing wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Due to some misunderstandings by Puck, the whole thing becomes a little bit confused... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three hundred years in the making! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Midsummer Night's Dream See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (with overture and exit music)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The one and only Hollywood film for legendary stage director Max Reinhardt. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Theseus - Duke of Athens: Hippolyta, I wooed you with my sword and won your love, doing thee injuries. But, I will wed you in another key: with pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The fairies Pease-Blossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustard-Seed are onscreen in the character list, but not the actors who portrayed them. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 132-minute roadshow version of this film has been restored, shown on cable, and issued on videocassette and DVD. For many years, though, this film was shown only in its general release version, a 117-minute version painstakingly edited by the studio (so that the cuts would not be noticeable), which shifted the order of some sequences and eliminated others.The 2007 DVD release also restores the Intermission title card, not seen since the film's original roadshow release in 1935, as well as including the overture and exit music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Scottish Symphony: Final Movement
(1842) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Lyrics by anonymous
Adapted by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Sung by Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, Ross Alexander, Jean Muir, James Cagney, Joe E. Brown and chorus
Conducted onscreen by Frank McHugh
See more »

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User Reviews

Astounding Shakespeare adaptation
17 April 1999 | by Jaime N. ChristleySee all my reviews

Since "Shakespeare in Love" made that particular playwright happening and new, check out this, Warner Bros.' wild, expensive, free-wheeling adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

For me, James Cagney makes the movie. He's Nick Bottom, the leader (or so he believes) of a traveling troupe of actors. He gives an invigorating performance--the screen is his. At one point, he gets to wear a donkey's head (if you know the play, you know what I'm talking about), but it doesn't faze him in the least. Cagney, the most energetic screen actor, doesn't let his over-the-top approach mar his skill or care with The Bard's great words. It's the test of anyone wishing to act out a part in a Shakespeare play, which Cagney passes, to "speak" the dialogue, and by doing so, make what might be confusing on the page understandable to audiences on the screen or stage.

Warner really spared no expense with this production, which I think might have been the costliest of that year. The whole affair is like a dream in every way--it seems to sway in the wind, fragile to the touch. It features Mendolssohn music, soft-white photography (the great Hal Mohr), and some of the most incredible sets and costumes you're likely to see in a 1930s film.

Nominated for three Academy Awards: Picture, Cinematography and Editing. Bested by "Mutiny on the Bounty" for the first, it won the other two.


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