Shakespeare on Film/TV

by Reel-addicted | created - 18 May 2014 | updated - 23 Jun 2014 | Public

Noteworthy film adaptations of plays or films inspired by Shakespeare and his work. A couple of documentaries included as well.

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1. A Performance of Macbeth (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama

Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Casson | Stars: Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, John Bown, Susan Dury

Votes: 720

2. Henry V (1989)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 26,841 | Gross: $10.16M

3. Henry IV Part 1 (2012)

Not Rated | 166 min | Drama

The first installment of what is widely acknowledged to be Shakespeare's greatest historical saga, Henry IV, Part I is an epic tale of power, treachery and war, exploring the complexity of ... See full summary »

Director: Adam Lee Hamilton | Stars: Jack Baldwin, Aimée-Lou Cameron, Ian Horgan, Saul Matlock

Votes: 10

Globe Theatre Production with Roger Allam --part 2 as well

4. King Lear (1983 TV Movie)

158 min | Drama

An aging King invites disaster, when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters, and rejects his loving and honest one.

Director: Michael Elliott | Stars: Colin Blakely, Leo McKern, Robert Lindsay, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 715

5. Richard III (1955)

Not Rated | 161 min | Biography, Drama, History

Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed King and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Cedric Hardwicke, Nicholas Hannen, Ralph Richardson

Votes: 3,799

6. Othello (1995)

R | 123 min | Drama, Romance

The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio, when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago.

Director: Oliver Parker | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irène Jacob, Nathaniel Parker

Votes: 8,654 | Gross: $2.11M

7. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

PG-13 | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves, Kate Beckinsale

Votes: 42,876 | Gross: $22.55M

Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson

8. Hamlet at Elsinore (1964 TV Movie)

170 min | Drama

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the Prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Philip Saville | Stars: Christopher Plummer, Robert Shaw, Alec Clunes, Michael Caine

Votes: 142

Christopher Plummer

9. Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996)

PG | 134 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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 | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E. Grant, Imogen Stubbs, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 5,380 | Gross: $0.55M

10. A Midwinter's Tale (1995)

R | 99 min | Comedy

A group of theater actors plays "Hamlet" in a provincial village, faced with their own temptations, disappointments, and joys.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Michael Maloney, Richard Briers, Hetta Charnley, Joan Collins

Votes: 2,247 | Gross: $0.35M

A sweet little film about an amateur production of HAMLET directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Michael Maloney, Richard Briers, Nicholas Farrell, and John Sessions.

11. Throne of Blood (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 40,780

MACBETH

12. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 101,772 | Gross: $3.52M

Re-working of KING LEAR

13. Coriolanus (2011)

R | 123 min | Drama, Thriller, War

79 Metascore

A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city.

Director: Ralph Fiennes | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Lubna Azabal

Votes: 29,906 | Gross: $0.76M

14. Macbeth (1971)

R | 140 min | Biography, Drama, History

A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw, Terence Bayler

Votes: 11,723

15. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History

87 Metascore

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.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 203,738 | Gross: $100.32M

16. Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | 242 min | Drama

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet

Votes: 34,511 | Gross: $4.41M

17. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

PG | 117 min | Comedy, Drama

Two minor characters from the play 'Hamlet' stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them.

Director: Tom Stoppard | Stars: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Livio Badurina

Votes: 19,799 | Gross: $0.74M

18. The Dresser (1983)

PG | 118 min | Drama

Personal Assistant Norman (Sir Tom Courtenay) of deteriorating veteran actor Sir (Albert Finney) struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker

Votes: 4,460 | Gross: $5.31M

19. Playing Shakespeare (1982– )

Documentary

John Barton holds a master class in how to play Shakespeare, using members of the RSC doing scenes, sonnets, and commentary as prime examples.

Stars: John Barton, David Suchet, Lisa Harrow, Alan Howard

Votes: 151

How to act Shakespeare featuring Judi Dench, Ian McKellan, Roger Rees, Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, Sinead Cusack, Alan Howard, Michael Pennington, and more... TERRIFIC!!

20. Much Ado About Nothing (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese

Votes: 15,547 | Gross: $4.33M

21. The Merchant of Venice (2004)

R | 131 min | Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.

Director: Michael Radford | Stars: Al Pacino, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Irons

Votes: 33,387 | Gross: $3.77M

22. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, War

86 Metascore

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart

Votes: 23,829

23. Titus (1999)

R | 162 min | Drama, History, Thriller

57 Metascore

Titus returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family.

Director: Julie Taymor | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Osheen Jones, Dario D'Ambrosi

Votes: 19,023 | Gross: $1.92M

24. Shakespeare Uncovered (2012– )

55 min | Documentary

Various actors discuss Shakespeare plays. Each episode is presented by one actor and, in most cases, the actor discusses one play. However, some episodes cover more than one play. For ... See full summary »

Stars: Jade Anouka, Harriet Walter, Simon Russell Beale, Vanessa Redgrave

Votes: 173

25. Discovering Hamlet (1990 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 53 min | Drama, Documentary

A unique, behind-the-scenes look at Shakespeare's great play. In 1988, rising star Kenneth Branagh played the Prince of Denmark for the first time. His guide through four weeks of ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Olshaker | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Richard Clifford, Richard Easton, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 60

26. Othello (1965)

Unrated | 165 min | Drama

A General's marriage is destroyed when a vengeful Lieutenant convinces him that his new wife has been unfaithful.

Director: Stuart Burge | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Robert Lang, Anthony Nicholls

Votes: 1,269

27. Richard II (1978 TV Movie)

158 min | Biography, Drama, History

The incompetent King Richard II is deposed by Henry Bolingbroke and undergoes a crisis of identity once he is no longer King.

Director: David Giles | Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Jon Finch, Wendy Hiller

Votes: 247

Sir Derek Jacobi as Richard II, Sir John Gielgud as Gaunt, Jon Finch as Bolingbroke



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