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Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996)

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Shakespeare's comedy of gender confusion, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.

Director:

Trevor Nunn

Writers:

William Shakespeare (by), Trevor Nunn (screenplay)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Imogen Stubbs ... Viola
Steven Mackintosh ... Sebastian
Nicholas Farrell ... Antonio
Sidney Livingstone Sidney Livingstone ... Captain (as Sid Livingstone)
Ben Kingsley ... Feste
James Walker James Walker ... Priest
Helena Bonham Carter ... Olivia
Nigel Hawthorne ... Malvolio
Mel Smith ... Sir Toby Belch
Imelda Staunton ... Maria
Toby Stephens ... Orsino
Alan Mitchell Alan Mitchell ... Valentine
Peter Gunn ... Fabian
Richard E. Grant ... Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Tim Bentinck ... First Officer
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Storyline

Brother and sister Viola and Sebastian, who are not only very close but look a great deal alike, are in a shipwreck, and both think the other dead. When she lands in a foreign country, Viola dresses as her brother and adopts the name Cesario, becoming a trusted friend and confidante to the Count Orsino. Orsino is madly in love with the lady Olivia, who is in mourning due to her brother's recent death, which she uses as an excuse to avoid seeing the count, whom she does not love. He sends Cesario to do his wooing, and Olivia falls in love with the disguised maiden. Things get more complicated in this bittersweet Shakespeare comedy when a moronic nobleman, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and a self-important servant, Malvolio, get caught up in the schemes of Olivia's uncle, the obese, alcoholic Sir Toby, who leads each to believe Olivia loves him. As well, Sebastian surfaces in the area, and of course there is Feste, the wise fool, around to keep everything in perspective and to marvel, like we ... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never send a boy to do a man's job, especially if he's a girl. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twelfth Night See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,451, 27 October 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$551,545, 22 December 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the mid 1950s, Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz tried to set up a version with Audrey Hepburn and Danny Kaye, but it failed to materialize. See more »

Goofs

During one of the final scenes, when Malvolio reenters, it can be seen that his left shoe is missing. However, as he is walking up the stairs, you can clearly hear both heels clicking on the steps. See more »

Quotes

Sir Toby Belch: Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Heigh-Ho, The Wind and the Rain
Music by Shaun Davey
Words by William Shakespeare
Sung by Ben Kingsley
See more »

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User Reviews

Good looking & well acted effort at an implausible Shakespearian plot
28 December 1998 | by simhedgesSee all my reviews

As with most Shakespearian comedies, the plot is deeply implausible. However, the excellent Cornish locations at St Michael's Mount & Lanhyrock give a good sense of place and the winter setting (apart from the scene of apple picking!) comes across well - it really does look like an English winter, rather than a picture postcard snow-scene.

The play is cut down to a manageable length without losing the sense of it, The broad comedy aspects (Toby Belch et al) are thankfully limited.

The acting is well done by a cast of British stalwarts. Amazingly, Viola and Sebastian actually do look broadly alike.

This film is best viewed as an amusing light romantic comedy rather than a side-splitter.


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