6.4/10
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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 14 May 1999 (USA)
Lovers' lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and... love.

Director:

Michael Hoffman

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Michael Hoffman (screenplay)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Kline ... Nick Bottom
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Titania
Rupert Everett ... Oberon
Stanley Tucci ... Puck
Calista Flockhart ... Helena
Anna Friel ... Hermia
Christian Bale ... Demetrius
Dominic West ... Lysander
David Strathairn ... Theseus
Sophie Marceau ... Hippolyta
Roger Rees ... Peter Quince
Max Wright ... Robin Starveling
Gregory Jbara ... Snug
Bill Irwin ... Tom Snout
Sam Rockwell ... Francis Flute
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Storyline

Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Get to the Bottom of Love See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

14 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,285,620, 16 May 1999

Gross USA:

$16,071,990

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,071,990
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bottom's wife does not appear in the play. She was added to this production to show an unhappy life and make his character more sympathetic. See more »

Goofs

The branches that Lysander and Demetrius fight with are swapped later in the fight. See more »

Quotes

Theseus: No epilogue, I pray you, for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse, for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed.
See more »

Connections

Version of El somni d'una nit d'estiu (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding March
from the 1843 German stage production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Felix Mendelssohn)
Performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra (as The Boston Symphony)
Conducted by Seiji Ozawa
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly faithful adaptation
19 October 2004 | by Liza-19See all my reviews

As a general rule, I normally don't post comments unless I have enough time to write a thorough review, and have given it much thought before hand. I'm sorry, but even though it's 2am, I can't bear to go to sleep and let the review before me just sit there. Obviously the reviewer before me seems to have no idea that the complicities that arise from the various plots go back to Shakespeare himself - and it is a great achievement by this film to manage to keep all the plates spinning and all the stories interesting.

I am amazed by this film. I am a life-long Shakespeare fan and it's great to see a faithful American production. The British/American cast all worked fantasically well together - Christian Bale, Anna Friel, Dominic West, and Calista Flockheart were all perfectly cast as the four lovers. The fairies and the actors both worked very well to frame the story - and the director has managed to keep it both visually unique and incredibly entertaining.

I'm not quite sure why they decided to change the location from Greece to Italy, but in an age where Kenneth Branagh is trying to make a 1940s musical out of Love's Labour's Lost, I say, the changes could be a lot worse. All in all, this is a very impressive adaptation. I'm just happy to see that Shakespeare hasn't lost his appeal to modern audiences.


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