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All's Well That Ends Well (1981)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | TV Movie 4 January 1981
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

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Johnson ... Countess of Rousillon
Ian Charleson ... Bertram
Michael Hordern ... Lafeu
Angela Down Angela Down ... Helena
Peter Jeffrey ... Parolles
Kevin Stoney ... Rinaldo
Donald Sinden ... King of France
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Dumain
Dominic Jephcott ... Captain Dumain
Paul Brooke ... Lavache
James Simmons ... Bachelor
John Segal ... Bachelor
Peter Sands ... Bachelor
Yves Aubert Yves Aubert ... Bachelor
Terence McGinity Terence McGinity ... First Gentleman
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Storyline

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 him and win her the right to marry Bertram. But does Bertram want to marry her? Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 1981 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well 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

The opening shot is a long shot of Helena (Angela Down), before eventually moving in to a close-up. Of this opening, Director Elijah Moshinsky commented "I wanted to start with a long shot of Helena and not move immediately to close-up. I didn't want too much identification with her, I wanted a picture of a woman caught in an obsession, with the camera static when she speaks, clear, judging her words. I wanted to start with long shots because I felt they were needed to place people in their context and for the sake of atmosphere. I wanted the atmosphere to help carry the story." See more »

Connections

Version of All's Well That Ends Well (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memorably Beautiful
24 July 2006 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

The production design of this video is based on paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, de la Tour and others. It is uniformly striking and lovely, and will live in the memory.

The acting performances are good, but uneasy, perhaps reflecting the problematic nature of the play. Ian Charleson's Bertram is cold, Angela Down's Helen is weepy, and so they stay for yards and yards of iambic pentameter. Only Donald Sinden as the King errs on the side of too much emotional variety, but it's hard to remember a Sinden performance in which he wasn't an explosive law unto himself. Michael Hordern and Peter Jeffrey battle deftly as Lafeu and Parolles, while Paul Brooke's Lavache is more menacing than witty. Pippa Guard's Diana is unfailingly dignified, and a small cameo by the aged Valentine Dyall proves unexpectedly moving. And as the Countess, Celia Johnson's presence is every bit as sympathetic here as it was in "Brief Encounter" 35 years earlier.

Any dissatisfactions mentioned in this review are just quibbles, however, as the play is rare and worthwhile, the production gratifies the eye, and no one writes a closing reconciliation scene like Shakespeare. Indeed, All's Well That Ends Well.


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