A Duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his entourage into the forest of Arden. The banished Duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen ...
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Mary Beth Hughes,
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A Duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his entourage into the forest of Arden. The banished Duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen in love with Orlando, but he has his own tyrannical brother with whom to contend, so he joins those in the forest. Rosalind, now banished, disguises herself as a young man, with Celia as her servant, and follows Orlando into the forest. There, nature stirs love's fires in various rustics as well as in those from the court. Phebe, a shepherdess loved by Silvius, is smitten with the disguised Rosalind. Can true love find a way, and can brothers be reconciled and harmony restored?Written by
The first printed version of the play came with the Folio of 1623. See more »
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts...
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Different prints have conflicting credits. For the 1936 U.S. version, Robert Cullen is credited (as R.J. Cullen) for production manager and scenario, but for the 1949 re-release, he is credited only as production manager, and 'Carl Mayer' is credited with adaptation. Similarly, for the 1936 version, Elisabeth Bergner's name is above the title for the opening credits, but in the 1949 re-release Laurence Olivier's name is above the title (as can be seen from the IMDb poster). See more »
Uneven but Likable, Especially Bergner as Rosalind
The main role, Rosalind, is well-played by the cute, vivacious Bergner. Olivier is good with the physical stuff (very graceful) and the repartee. He tends to fall flat on the soliloquies and extended reveries, though. (And he's wearing way too much makeup, including at times some very crooked lipstick.) The costumes and sets are vivid, probably meant to suggest a fairy-tale, and thus account for the ridiculous plot devices.
And despite the comments of another reviewer, the camera-work is not all "point-and-shoot." It is a bit static by today's standards, but not by those of 1936.
The biggest liability is the muddy, distant sound.
All in all, I liked it more than the average filmed Shakespeare, though it's not great by any means.
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