Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Kenneth Branagh (adaptation)
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Popularity
3,188 ( 676)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Briers ... Leonato
Kate Beckinsale ... Hero
Imelda Staunton ... Margaret
Jimmy Yuill ... Friar Francis
Brian Blessed ... Antonio
Andy Hockley Andy Hockley ... George Seacole
Chris Barnes Chris Barnes ... Francis Seacole
Conrad Nelson Conrad Nelson ... Hugh Oatcake
Phyllida Law ... Ursula
Emma Thompson ... Beatrice
Alex Lowe Alex Lowe ... Messenger
Denzel Washington ... Don Pedro
Keanu Reeves ... Don John
Richard Clifford ... Conrade
Gerard Horan ... Borachio
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Storyline

Young lovers Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) are to be married in one week. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro (Denzel Washington) to set a "lover's trap" for Benedick (Sir Kenneth Branagh), an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice (Dame Emma Thompson), his favorite sparring partner. Meanwhile, the evil Don Jon (Keanu Reeves) conspires to break up the wedding by accusing Hero of infidelity. In the end, though, it all turns out to be "much ado about nothing". Written by Liza Esser <essereli@student.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A romantic comedy for anyone who's ever been in love. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast includes two Oscar winners: Dame Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington; and three Oscar nominees: Michael Keaton, Imelda Staunton, and Sir Kenneth Branagh. See more »

Goofs

Margaret turns and runs up the aisle twice after the wedding. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beatrice: Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever. One foot in sea and one on shore, to one thing constant never. Then sigh not so but let them go and be you blithe and bonny, converting all your sounds of woe into hey nonny nonny.
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Connections

Version of Much Ado About Nothing (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Pardon, Goddess of the Night
(uncredited)
Written by William Shakespeare
Performed by Patrick Doyle
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User Reviews

 
Shakespeare at his most exhilarating
17 August 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

Be honest: does the idea of a Shakespearean joke make your heart sink a little? Do you think of obscure, lowbrow Elizabethan humour that MAYBE someone was kind enough to explain in a footnote?

Certainly the comedies are harder to stage, but when they're well done ... One of the most exhilarating things about Shakespeare is the certain knowledge that no character will ever express himself poorly. Well, characters like Dogberry do, in a sort of a way, but that's deliberately done for comic effect and doesn't count. No character is ever thwarted by a lack of expressive power. Whenever Benedick must plead his case, you know that he will summon up all the eloquence he needs; and whenever Beatrice insults anyone, you know that she will summon up all the venom and wit SHE needs. In some ways it's easier to appreciate this in a comedy when the plot is, reduced to its essence, much ado about nothing.

No film director working today can approach Branagh when it comes to presenting Shakespeare cleanly and clearly, in a way that lets us participate in this verbal delight. This particular film is actually funny, as well as verbally delightful. It's also visually delightful - it has an attractive cast (Kate Beckinsale plays one of Shakespeare's ciphers but makes us understand why people fell in love with her), a sunny Tuscan landscape and a long tracking shot at the end that has to be seen to be believed. Performances are all good (other comments here have convinced me that even Keanu Reeves fits into his role). Comedy or not, this is the best Shakespeare film in years and is a candidate for being the best of all time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Much Ado About Nothing See more »

Filming Locations:

Florence, Tuscany, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$108,617, 9 May 1993

Gross USA:

$22,549,338

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,549,338
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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