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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

Kevin Kline , Michelle Pfeiffer , Michael Hoffman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Stanley Tucci, Calista Flockhart
  • Directors: Michael Hoffman
  • Writers: Michael Hoffman, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Michael Hoffman, Ann Wingate, Arnon Milchan, Leslie Urdang, Nigel Goldsack
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305622876
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,566 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A stellar cast, headed by Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline, bring Shakespeare's romantic comedy to life. When two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a feuding pair of supernatural sprites and a love potion gone awry all come together in an enchanted moonlit forest, the result is a delightful mix of merriment and magic. Also starring Calista Flockhart, Stanley Tucci and Rupert Everett.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
164 of 184 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
A quick scroll through the reviews shows a sharp divide. Some like this Hollywood-style rendition of Midsummer's Night while others, (to be polite) do not. To make matters more confusing, several reviews are deceptive because the reviewer seriously misjudges his/her depth of experience with this kind thing. To find out your probable reaction in less than 20 seconds, just answer these questions:

Do you see live Shakespeare every year or two? Do you know who Iago is? Who Prospero is? Do you know what the Queen Mab speech is? Have you seen a film with Ian McClellan in a Shakespearean role?

If you mostly answered "yes," you are likely to squirm in pain throughout this movie. (See Category B below.) On the other hand, if you are not particularly conversant with Shakespeare (if you answered "no" to more than a couple questions above, you're not, something many reviewers both in the newspapers and here fail to fathom), chances actually become much higher that you will be okay with this. (See Category A.)

Category A: If you enjoy movies and have read a few of the Bard's plays here and there, perhaps back in school, you might be enjoy this. The Hollywood actors provide familiar faces, and a couple give respectable performances--Kevin Kline, for instance. If you find Shakespeare too long, the play here has been lopped roughly in half. If you find Elizabethan dialogue goes by too fast, several visuals have been inserted, generally slowing the pace.

The problem is this: When you finish watching, you might be tempted to think this story is just a lark and that Shakespeare was just writing wierd stuff about faeries. But that's just this movie's hacked-up version of the story, not Shakespeare's actual play. If you're curious, watch the BBC version.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The View of a Shakespeare "Purist" February 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
It always amazes me that people think that a Shakespeare "purist," a true lover of Shakespeare, won't like any new version. I teach a Shakespeare course, I've studied Shakespeare at Oxford, I've seen 30 or so productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and I've got news for you. This video is just fine! True Shakespeare buffs are theater people, not dusty curmudgeons so old they fart dust. I have seen about 15 versions of AMND, and this certainly holds its own. The setting is a fantasy world anyway, so putting it in Tuscany does not violate any "rule." There are some niggling complaints: Kline's Bottom is a little too sad, and Callista Flockhart is supposed to be playing the ugly one. She is not convincing. There are many gems as well, Rupert Everett's lithe,sensuous Oberon foremost among them. A bit of trivia: one of Christian Bale's earliest roles was as the boy in Branagh's Henry V, and he continues to delight. You may watch this video, enjoy it, AND consider yourself a Shakespearean. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Enjoy.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and Truly Enchanting May 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The village of Monte Athena, Italy, at the turn of the Nineteenth Century is the setting for this delightful version of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by Michael Hoffman. Bustles are in decline, and a new invention, the bicycle, is rising in popularity; and on this one particular night in the forest, mortals and fairies come together for a mirthful interlude rife with mischief, unsolicited intercession and the pursuit of love. This is a most engaging production, highlighted by a number of outstanding performances, beautiful photography and a wonderful score by Simon Boswell which features the talents of Cecilia Bartoli, Luciano Pavarotti, Renee Fleming and Roberto Alagna. Kevin kline gives an especially noteworthy performance as bottom, while Rupert Everett (Oberon), Dominic West (Lysander), Anna Friel (Hermia) and Sam Rockwell (Flute) are also exemplary. Michelle Pfeiffer is absolutely stunning as Titania, Queen of the Fairies, and Stanley Tucci delivers a nimble Puck. There are some wonderful moments in this movie, and one especially memorable scene in which Bottom and his troop perform "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the Duke (David Strathairn) and Hippolyta (Sophie Marceau); it is hysterical. Rounding out this superb cast are Calista Flockhart (Helena), Christian Bale (Demetrius), Roger Rees (Quince), Max Wright (Starveling), Gregory Jbara (Snug), Bill Irwin (Snout), Bernard Hill (Egeus) and John Sessions (Philostrate). Extremely well done, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a comedy that will lift your spirits and keep you smiling for hours. A great addition to anyone's video collection, this one is not to be missed.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vision of delightful comedy and enchanting magic... September 19, 1999
By Leslie
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a truly enchanting portrayal of Shakespeare's finest and most magical comedy. It is a richly woven tapestry of laughter and love with a generous sprinkling of fairy dust. This film version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" appears to follow word for word Shakespeare's original masterpiece, only exchanging the time and place of the story from classical Athens to what appeared to be late nineteenth century Italy. The film's scenery, from the mysterious and evocative depths of the enchanted wood to Theseus' richly appointed palace, was magnificent. And the actors themselves were both delightful and compelling. Michelle Pfeiffer was enchantingly beautiful as Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, and Rupert Everett was in his element as her darkly handsome and commanding consort, Oberon. But it was Kevine Kline in his portrayal of Bottom, the enchanted ass, who truly stole the show. I can honestly say that this was one of the most truly beautiful and delightful films I have ever seen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is GORGEOUS
I love the scenery, the costumes, the actors, everything. Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful as Queen Titania. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
These actors were not ready for Shakespeare! While I enjoy these actors in other roles I do not believe they were ready or capable of doing Shakespeare.
Published 1 month ago by Delia Marrero
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Kline is hysterical as Nick Bottom
Kevin Kline is so funny that his performance made me cry from laughing so hard, especially the scene where he performs the play Pyramus and Thisbe.His death seen was hysterical. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin James
4.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed this movie
I love movies, and believe that you should at least watch a movie once, to at least say that you have seen it, you really can’t knock a movie if you haven’t seen it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ronafish79
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Representation
Great actors and accurate portrayal of Shakespeare's written play. The scene where the four lovers are discovered would be better if more were left to the imagination.
Published 1 month ago by Denise Spinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!
Love this movie and the play. The 19th century setting is new, especially with the fantastical elements interspersed throughout, but it works! Read more
Published 1 month ago by LEA
3.0 out of 5 stars Dream Enchanting.. The likes of Tinker-Bell and the Wizard of Oz in...
I recently took a course on William Shakespeare's comedies and not being familiar with these plays, thought I would purchase this movie to give me an idea of this story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hawkeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar performances
I love Shakespeare. And I love most of the actors in this movie! I am absolutely thrilled that Stanley Tucci is Puck!! I would definitely recommend this version.
Published 2 months ago by Israfel462
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good rendition and translation of the Shakespeare writing. Characters are portrayed by a good cast of actors. More interesting than reading the book.
Published 2 months ago by Michael Abrams
4.0 out of 5 stars See this even if you don't think you like Shakespeare!
This movie made Shakespeare very accessible to the layman. The actors were wonderful and the scenery was spectacular. I'd like to see it again.
Published 2 months ago by Cathy Hopping
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