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As You Like It (1978)

TV-14 | | Comedy | TV Movie 17 December 1978
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

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Rosalind
Brian Stirner ... Orlando
Richard Pasco Richard Pasco ... Jaques
Angharad Rees ... Celia
James Bolam ... Touchstone
Clive Francis ... Oliver
Richard Easton ... Duke Frederick
Tony Church Tony Church ... Duke Senior
John Quentin John Quentin ... Le Beau
Maynard Williams Maynard Williams ... Silvius
Victoria Plucknett Victoria Plucknett ... Phebe
Marilyn Le Conte ... Audrey
Tom McDonnell Tom McDonnell ... Amiens
David Lloyd Meredith David Lloyd Meredith ... Corin
Arthur Hewlett ... Adam
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Storyline

Orlando is forced to work like a servant for his brother Oliver, so he goes to win his fortune in a wrestling contest, where he meets a lady of the court, Rosalind. Rosalind (daughter of the deposed duke) is companion to Celia, niece of the deposed Duke, and when the current duke banishes Rosalind from the kingdom, she, Celia, the court jester (and incidentally Orlando) all end up in the forest or Arden, where the deposed Duke holds court. Romantic mixups, cross-dressing, love poems nailed to trees, and a lion await them all. Written by Kathy Li (revised by Albert Sanchez Moreno)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: As You Like It See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »

Quotes

Orlando: Only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
See more »

Connections

Version of As You Like It (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Holy mother of god...
17 March 2003 | by drn5See all my reviews

This is from the early days of the BBC Shakespeare series, when they were young, naive and foolish, and before the budget shrivelled into minus numbers. To make 'As You Like It' they actually went outside, rather than to a studio, filming the play at Glamis Castle and a forest nearby, just to give it that epic quality. And they hired some of the best actors in the theatre, and gave them nearly 30 minutes to rehearse. Halcyon days.

It's awful.

Filming outdoors requires time and money, neither of which is on display here. The wind whips away the actors' words and blows their hair in their faces. And more intrusive are the animals. In a scene involving Corin, a flock of rare-breed sheep jumps over a gate while he is talking. The sheep are far more interesting than Corin (each one jumps in a slightly different way, and one of them nearly trips over). But the director seems to have the Ed Wood approach to such things ("It's realistic, because that's what would happen in real life"). Meanwhile, the opportunities offered by filming outdoors are wasted. Glamis Castle is perfect for the evil Duke's castle: it's a nasty-looking Gothic pile with pointy towers and a huge, looming bulk. And yet the director films on a gorgeous summer's day and manages to remove the slightest trace of Gothic gloom from the castle. And the forestry commission land looks just that. I'm sure I saw tyre-tracks on one of the country roads.

Even worse than the dodgy film-making is the child-like naivety of the interpretation, which frequently reminds one of amateur dramatics in a church hall. This is encapsulated in the hilarious entry of Hymen, who runs down a hill dressed like a member of Bjorn Again, and with a big cheesy grin on his face. It would be nice to think that this is an affectionate acknowledgement of the absurdity of the play's plot. Maybe I'd think that if it was openly metatheatrical, or deliberately camp. But the characters treat Hymen with awestruck wonder, and the poor viewer is left longing for something EITHER profound OR deliberately humorous.

Sadly, there are no decent films of 'As You Like It', but before you watch this one try to find Christine Edzard's 1992 version, which has its flaws, but has at least has had more than five minutes of thought put into it.


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