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The Merry Wives of Windsor (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mistress Page
Leon Charles ... Sir John Falstaff
Valerie Seelie-Snyder ... Mistress Ford
Dixie Tymitz ... Mistress Quickly (as Dixie Neyland Tymitz)
Joel Asher ... Dr. Caius
Phillip Persons ... Justice Shallow
... Slender
Richard Cordery ... Sir Hugh Evans
Lee Fishel ... Pistol
Lanny Broyles ... Bardolph
Paul Aron Scott ... Nym
... Anne Page
Addison Randall ... Fenton
Lucinda Dooling ... Robin
... Host (as William Nye)
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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Веселите уиндзорки  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Merry Wives of Windsor (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Terribly Exciting
26 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

There isn't much call for the Merry Wives out there, and this is one of your few options. The makers have just filmed a stage performance with no audience (too bad--an audience would have helped get the viewer into stage mode). This is apparent from the sparse mock-Tudor set, the overblown makeup (Slender's makeup looks like he's been hit in the face with a bowl of porridge and Bardolph's supposed pockmarks look like a deep tan) and the exaggerated acting. With one notable exception, the actors all seem to be playing the part of actors playing at Shakespeare. Granted, it's low comedy with plenty of slapstick but even at that, there is very little convincing performance. The director has worked very hard at thinking up little bits of business which provide amusement, and the fight choreography is wonderfully ridiculous, but this does not cover the fact that the actors frequently don't know how they are supposed to be reacting to each other. There are some very odd accents going on here: Dr. Caius is clearly French, but you would be hard pressed to spot the Welsh parson Sir Hugh as a Welshman The exception is Lisa Barnes as Anne Page, who is very persuasive at all times.

The editing, such as it is, is crude, with the actors' faces noticeably changing expression from one shot to the next.

An introduction and conclusion by John Houseman was included with my DVD. I strongly recommend skipping this completely.

All in all, it could serve as an introduction to the play and is not unwatchable. That's as excited as I can get about it.


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