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The Complete Shakespeare Experience    

Russian filmmaker Grigory Kozintsev directed

Gamlet (Hamlet) in 1964 and Karol Lear

(King Lear) in 1970 while Paul Scofield starred

in a version that same year from British

director Peter Brook. In 1971, Roman Polanski

directed Macbeth.


The cultural revolution of the 1960s

manifested in Shakespeare films produced a

bit later in the 1970s and ‘80s, such as Derek

Jarman’s 1979 The Tempest, which gave the

Bard’s work a campy sensibility associated

with the gay and lesbian communities, and an avant-garde spin by Celestino Coronado in 1984’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Franco Zeffirelli produced a lavish version of Hamlet in 1990 and Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books (1991, based on The Tempest) starred Sir John Gielgud in the first Shakespearean-based film to incorporate computer-generated imagery (CGI).


Other efforts at contemporizing Shakespeare for modern film audiences including the use of actors not traditionally associated with serious drama, such as Much Ado About Nothing (1993, Kenneth Branagh), which starred Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton, Love’s Labours Lost (2000, Branagh) which featured Broadway and Hollywood star, Nathan Lane, and Othello (1995, Oliver Parker), starring Laurence Fishburne in the title role.


Director Baz Luhrmann directed Romeo + Juliet (1966) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, while Gus Van Sant produced a modern-day homage to the Henry IV trilogy in My Own Private Idaho set in Portland, Oregon. Al Pacino gave us Looking for Richard (1996) , a cinematic essay about Richard III.


10 Things I Hate About You (1999, Gil Junger) is a romantic comedy based on The Taming of the Shrew and The King is Alive (2000, Kristian Levering) has a group of stranded tourists performing King Lear in the desert.

Other Shakespearean works were produced for cinema and television including:

As You Like It (1936, Paul Czinner)

As You Like It (1992, Christine Edzard)

Antony and Cleopatra (1974, Trevor Nunn, BBC)

Macbeth (1979, Trevor Nunn, BBC)

Twelfth Night (1996, Trevor Nunn, BBC)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996, Adrian Noble)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999, Michael Hoffman)

Titus Andronicus (1985, Jane Howell)

Titus (1999, Julie Taymor)

Elizabeth (1998, Shekhar Kapur)

Shakespeare in Love (1998, John Madden)




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