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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

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2,128 ( 92)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Philip Henslowe
... Hugh Fennyman
... Lambert
Tim McMullan ... Frees (as Tim McMullen)
... Will Shakespeare
Steven Beard ... Makepeace - the Preacher
... Dr. Moth
Patrick Barlow ... Will Kempe
... Richard Burbage
Sandra Reinton ... Rosaline
... Tilney - Master of the Revels
... Queen Elizabeth
Bridget McConnell ... Lady in Waiting (as Bridget McConnel)
... Lady in Waiting
... Henry Condell
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Storyline

Will Shakespeare is a known but struggling poet, playwright and actor who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslow and Richard Burbidge but now faces a far more difficult problem: he is bereft of ideas and has yet to begin writing. He is in search of his muse, the woman who will inspire him but all attempts fail him until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. She loves the theatre and would like nothing more than to take to the stage but is forbidden from doing so as only men can be actors. She is also a great admirer of Shakespeare's works. Dressing as a man and going by the name of Thomas Kent, she auditions and is ideal for a part in his next play. Shakespeare soon sees through her disguise and they begin a love affair, one they know cannot end happily for them as he is already married and she has been promised to the dour Lord Wessex. As the company rehearses his new play, Will and Viola's love is transferred to the written page leading to the masterpiece that is ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is the only inspiration See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare apasionado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$224,012, 13 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,317,794

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$289,317,794
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sonnet Will writes for Viola which begins with "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" is Sonnet 18. In reality, this sonnet, along with Sonnets number 1 to 126, were written for a male friend of William Shakespeare. Some speculate that this friend is either Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southamption, or William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. See more »

Goofs

In the final credits, the clouds in sky don't move or change shape at all for the whole length of the shot; revealing that a still picture is used in the background. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Philip Henslowe: [screams in pain]
Hugh Fennyman: Henslowe! Do you know what happens to a man who doesn't pay his debts? His boots catch fire!
Philip Henslowe: [screams]
Hugh Fennyman: Why do you howl when it is I who am bitten?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La La Land (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Play & the Marriage
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Warbeck
Performed by Catherine Bott
Conducted by Nick Ingman
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User Reviews

 
The most overrated film of the year.
12 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

It's hard not to enjoy Shakespeare in Love. It's witty, clever and beautifully shot. The performances - except for Gwyneth Paltrow, who should definitely stick to the present tense - are solid (though not Oscar-worthy, as one has to applaud Judi Dench for admitting.)

But that's just about all there is to this pleasant piece of fluff. It lacks any real substance, and for all the nods to Shakespeare and the smoldering stares, is basically your average, contrived love story. It has none of the depth that made The Truman Show and Elizabeth so outstanding.

An enjoyable, cute, picture? Certainly. The best of the year? Definitely not.


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