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As You Like it

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Bard's brilliant comedy with Sir Laurence Olivier in his first Shakespearian role. Elisabeth Bergner stars as Rosalind, the daughter of an exiled Duke, who falls in love with Orlando (Olivier), the son of one of her father's courtiers. When Orlando continues to ignore her, Rosalind decides the best way to be at his side is by disguising herself as a boy. Her deception works too well as Orlando would rather be in the boy's company than hers. How Rosalind works out her predicament is part of the fun in this early sound film adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play.

Special Features

  • Liner Notes Essay by Roy Hemming

Product Details

  • Actors: Elisabeth Bergner, Laurence Olivier, Sophie Stewart, Henry Ainley, Leon Quartermaine
  • Directors: Paul Czinner
  • Writers: Carl Mayer, J.M. Barrie, Robert Cullen, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Paul Czinner, Joseph M. Schenck
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 1999
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305470332
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,923 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "As You Like it" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By E. E. Kuersten on May 28, 2000
Format: DVD
This is my favorite Shakespeare play, and I've often wondered why no one has ever made another movie version in all this time. This adaption is dated but generally well done, with an actively moving camera and some scattered attempts at making it more than merely a "filmed play." If you've seen it on TV then you probably remember the sound as awful and the picture pretty blurry (like many public domain movies, awful prints are everywhere). So know that this dvd is from an excellent print, with the sound much clearer, (though still not great) and the picture 10 times better than I have seen. So if you are wondering if this dvd is worth getting even if only to replace your inaudible old VHS copy, then let me assure you Arden has never looked better, nor Elisabeth Bergner's shrill voice more effortlessly deciphered. I would not change it.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Carvet on July 7, 2001
Format: DVD
I have always enjoyed this movie even though the VHS version has very poor sound and picture quality. The DVD is much improved in both areas and is worth the additional investment (don't expect digital quality though). I love Olivier (young and handsome here) and considered him the star of this film, but the DVD keep box has about three "pages" of film history that set me straight. It explains that at the time this film was produced Elizabeth Bergener was the big star and Laurence Olivier a struggling young hopeful. Bergener insisted on him as Orlando. Her husband was the director of this and many other of her films. Also, I found her voice shrill, but hear it a bit differently now that I know that English is not her first language (she came to England as a fleeing Germany where she was already an international star). Fascinating stuff, a great film and good DVD quality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Laddie on January 8, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A terrible transfer, so bad it must be seen to believed - the film looks and sounds like it was made underwater. This is not a critique of an enjoyable, if flawed film, but of this particular DVD.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2001
Format: DVD
This is not a bad play, but it feels tight. I wanted to see it to compare with the 1978 version with Helen Mirren (just about impossible to find - try Ambrose Video and sit down for the price). The setting is forcefully lush, but feels plastic. My general view is that Shakespeare needs to be "slowed down", performance-wise and most old movies (40-50 years) seem rushed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By a mydellton on November 9, 2011
Format: DVD
This is an old 1937 black and white production and Laurence Olivier's first foray into Shakespeare on film. It was also only the second time that Shakespeare had been filmed by Hollywood, the first being A Midsummer Night's Dream, just two years earlier. Whilst Paul Czinner's production had nothing else to guide it or to measure up to, it still became a successful film for that generation. Moreover, some modern Shakespearian enthusiasts like this early work.
As the production is 75 years old one must make allowances for dated film and sound quality. Perhaps I am less fussy than most, but I was not put off by these limitations.
Olivier plays a starry eyed Orlando with great aplomb. However, his friend and sometimes arch rival, John Gielgud felt that `he overdid it a little'. Over the decades that style of acting has dated and passed on, proving Gielgud correct. Despite this, Olivier was considered very successful at the time, and is still a great performance to watch. Only nine years later Olivier made a magnificent transformation with Henry V followed by Hamlet in 1948 and became the greatest ever Shakespearian film actor.
Elisabeth Bergner gave a goodish performance, although some scholars dislike her end-piece when she talked about the duties of `vomen'. Most other actors did acceptably well in tights, strutting around England's medieval Forest of Arden surrounded by lions and sheep. Even so, the play is a rustic romp comedy where we must `suspend our disbelief' to get the best from the film.
I believe that this production of `As You Like It' has survived, despite ageing, and I prefer it to most other versions made since. However for modern day entertainment, Kenneth Branagh's sumptuous full colour feature film has now surpassed this original production.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Kaplan on January 30, 2005
Format: DVD
A charming, if prudish, version of "As You Like It". In this adaptation, Celia is taller than Rosalind (abiding by Le Beau's lines in I, ii of the First Folio and disregarding Rosalind's line in I, iii about being "more than common tall" - which is cut here). Felix Ayimer is excellent as Duke Frederick but many other characters are marginalized as the script, reduced to about half its full length, focuses on Orlando and Rosalind. I miss some of the racy passages and rants of Jacques and Touchstone that have been excised. Elisabeth Bergner's performance is affected and histrionic but an interesting dynamic develops (whether intentionally or unintentionally) between her Ganymede and Olivier's Orlando. I suspect that Olivier's Orlando knows from the moment he meets Ganymede that he is, indeed, Rosalind. He plays it with such subtlety, though, as if the director wasn't in on the choice. Bergner's Rosalind seems to be mentally unstable, just a bit off. Olivier's Orlando is attracted to her capriciousness and exuberance. Overall, I enjoyed the film more than I enjoyed Sir Peter Hall's puzzling production (2005 at BAM) with his daughter Rebecca as Rosalind (she was the weak link in a superb cast). I viewed the film on VHS and the sound quality was awful. Maybe they improved it for the DVD.
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