7.3/10
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37 user 26 critic

A Midwinter's Tale (1995)

In the Bleak Midwinter (original title)
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A group of theater actors plays "Hamlet" in a provincial village, faced with their own temptations, disappointments, and joys.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writer:

Kenneth Branagh
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Briers ... Henry Wakefield (Claudius, the Ghost, and the Player King)
Hetta Charnley Hetta Charnley ... Molly
Joan Collins ... Margaretta D'Arcy
Nicholas Farrell ... Tom Newman (Laertes, Fortinbras, and messengers)
Mark Hadfield ... Vernon Spatch (Polonius, Marcellus, and First Gravedigger)
Gerard Horan ... Carnforth Greville (Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Horatio, and Barnardo)
Celia Imrie ... Fadge
Michael Maloney ... Joe Harper (Hamlet)
Jennifer Saunders ... Nancy Crawford
Julia Sawalha ... Nina Raymond (Ophelia)
John Sessions ... Terry Du Bois (Queen Gertrude)
Ann Davies Ann Davies ... Mrs. Branch
James D. White James D. White ... Tim
Robert Hines Robert Hines ... Mortimer
Allie Byrne Allie Byrne ... Tap Dancer
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Storyline

Out of work actor Joe volunteers to help try and save his sister's local church for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet, somewhat against the advice of his agent Margaretta. As the cast he assembles are still available even at Christmas and are prepared to do it on a "profit sharing" basis (that is, they may not get paid anything) he cannot expect, and does not get, the cream of the crop. But although they all bring their own problems and foibles along, something bigger starts to emerge in the perhaps aptly named village of Hope. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The drama. The passion. The intrigue... And the rehearsals haven't even started.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Midwinter's Tale See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$346,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Maloney (Joe Harper), Richard Briers (Henry Wakefield) and Nicholas Farrell (Tom Newman) all later appeared in the director Kenneth Branagh's next film Hamlet (1996). They played Laertes, Polonius and Horatio respectively. Furthermore, Maloney played Rosencrantz in Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990) and Farrell provided the voice of Hamlet in Shakespeare: The Animated Tales: Hamlet (1992). See more »

Quotes

Audience Member: Any ice cream?
Fadge: We have herbal tea, natural fruit juice, organic rice cakes, balsamic chocolate, and straw.
Audience Member: But any ice cream?
Fadge: What are you, a fascist?
See more »

Connections

References Brief Encounter (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Must The Show Go On
Written by Noël Coward
© Chappell Music Ltd
by kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Recording courtesy of Sony Records
by Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd.
Performance cleared by American Federation of Musicians
See more »

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User Reviews

A great film to pick up your spirits
22 September 1999 | by cromwell-3See all my reviews

I selected this movie from the video shelf because the title seemed consonant with my mood. My girlfriend had just dumped me, my best friend had just broken off with me, and it was raining. The realisation that it was black and white throughout seemed to be perfect. Yet the story, of a struggling actor's frantic attempts to mount a benefit showing of Hamlet to save a church, along with Branagh's comedic editing, begins as a farce, sails along with Coward-like snippets of conversation (along with the use of Coward's song "The Show Must Go On") and develops facilely and elegantly into a moving portrait of the camaraderie of an acting company without one noticing. I didn't realise I wasn't unhappy and in love with all these people until the movie was over and I was beaming quite sunnily (who needs friends and girlfriends anyway when you've got movies?). Julie Sawalha's reading of the line "Let's face it, we're all depressed" may very well have saved my life.


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