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Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Kenneth Branagh , Michael Keaton , Kenneth Branagh  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (482 customer reviews)

Price: $15.02 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Much Ado About Nothing + A Midsummer Night's Dream + The Taming of the Shrew
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson
  • Directors: Kenneth Branagh
  • Writers: Kenneth Branagh, William Shakespeare
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (482 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714BZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,211 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Much Ado About Nothing" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette

Editorial Reviews

Full of "sparkling merriment" (The Hollywood Reporter), this sexy, sunny comedy positively sizzles as one set of lovers battles against a dirty trick, and another set simply battleseach other! Adapted by Oscar® nominee* Kenneth Branagh and featuring an all-star cast, this charming romp "casts the battle of the sexes in the form of an elegant dance" (The New York Times). A military war has just ended, but the "merry war" between Beatrice (Emma Thompson) and Benedick (Branagh) rages on! Can their friends trick them into making love instead? For that matter, can another couple's devotion survive the evil Don John's (Keanu Reeves) vicious lies? It's up to the blundering constable (Michael Keaton) to save the day so that the course of true love may yet run smooth! *1989: Director, Actor, Henry V; 1992: Short Film-Live Action, Swan Song; 1996: Adapted Screenplay, Hamlet

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dainty Dish. May 14, 2005
Format:DVD
Since his Oscar-nominated "Henry V" adaptation, Kenneth Branagh has come up with a simple, effective recipe: Blend 3 parts English actors well-versed in all things "Bard" with 1 or 2 parts Hollywood, sprinkle the mixture liberally over one of Shakespeare's plays, lift the material out of its original temporal and local context to provide an updated meaning, and garnish it by casting yourself and, until the mid-1990s, (then-)wife Emma Thompson in opposite starring roles.

In "Much Ado About Nothing," that formula works to near-perfection. A comedy of errors possibly written in one of the Bard's busiest years (1599) - although as usual, dating is a minor guessing game - "Much Ado" lives primarily from its timeless characters, making it an ideal object for transformation a la Branagh. Thus, renaissance Sicily becomes 19th century Tuscany (although the location's name, Messina, remains unchanged); and the intrigues centering around the battle of the sexes between Signor Benedick of Padua (Branagh) and Lady Beatrice (Thompson), the niece of Messina's governor Don Leonato (Richard Briers), and their love's labors won - initially the play's intended title; Benedick and Beatrice are a more liberated version of the earlier "Love's Labor's Lost"'s Biron and Rosaline - as well as the schemes surrounding the play's other couple, Benedick's friend Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) and Beatrice's cousin Hero (Kate Beckinsale) become a light-hearted counterpoint to the more serious, politically charged intrigues of novels such as Stendhal's "Charterhouse of Parma:" Indeed, the military campaign from which Benedick and Claudio are returning with Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon (Denzel Washington) at the story's beginning could easily be one associated with Italy's 19th century struggle for nationhood.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Since summer first was leafy... April 20, 2003
Format:DVD
"Much Ado About Nothing" is one of those sparkling adaptations that supposedly couldn't have been done. But Kennneth Branagh (director and star of "Hamlet," and creator of the supremely underrated "Midwinter's Tale") brought an all-star cast in a sparkling Tuscan setting, to bring this tale of bickering loves and sordid betrayals to life as never before.
The sullen Don John has just been stopped in a rebellion against his brother Don Pedro, by young hero Claudio. Now all of them (including Don John, whom his brother has forgiven) are arriving in Messina, the home of kindly Leonato. But when they get there, Claudio immediately falls in love with Leonato's beautiful daughter Hero. And despite the efforts of Don John, Don Pedro manages to get the two young lovers together and altar-bound.
But Don Pedro isn't willing to stop there. Hero's cousin Beatrice has a long-running feud with Claudio's pal Benedick -- they insult each other, they bicker, they argue about everything ("It is so indeed -- he is no less than a stuffed man!"). What's more, both of them swear to stay single forever. ("All women shall pardon me -- I shall live a bachelor!") Pedro and the others conspire to get Benedick and Beatrice to somehow fall in love with each other. And at first it seems that everything is going well -- until Don John manages to cast doubt on Hero's honor
There's a certain timeless quality to "Much Ado" -- not just the dialogue, but the simple costumes and the buildings in it. That leaves the audience free to pay more attention to the dialogue and its plot. And what a plot it is! "Much Ado" is brimming over with funny dialogue, dastardly plots, comedic supporting characters and weird pairings.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never mind Keanu . . . September 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, Keanu Reeves fits in to this Shakespearean production like a tuba player in a heavy metal band, but don't let that scare you off. His leaden delivery can't weigh down a movie this light and bubbly.
Branagh has outdone himself in this tale of young men and women in love. It is set in the gorgeous Italian countryside, all warm sunshine and bright colors. The actors positively glow with happiness and health.
Branagh plays an almost self-parodying arrogant ham with just the right note of swagger and hidden insecurity. His battles of wit with Emma Thompson's Beatrice bring some of Shakespeare's cleverest writing to vivid life. Denzel Washington makes for a truly regal prince, and Michael Keaton puts in a knee-slapping cameo as the Beetlejuice-ish Dogberry.
This is one of Shakespeare's best comedies and Branagh films it excellently, moving the plot along and keeping things light. The title is apt -- the problems the characters face aren't difficult to solve -- and Branagh thankfully doesn't take any of the proceedings too seriously.
This is Shakespeare as it was intended to be. It's not actors dressed in tights histrionically shouting lines; it's funny and vibrant with a strong pulse. It's a feel-great movie and not to be missed, by Shakespeare loyalists or by anybody else.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRANAGH IS BRILLIANT!!! June 28, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Branagh is absolutely brilliant. After watching Much Ado About Nothing, I could not believe that anyone could take a work of Shakespeare and infuse it with so much life and vitality! I have watched the movie tens of times and I laugh harder and longer everytime I see it. Michael Keaton is hilarious as the ignorant sherriff, and Thompson(Beatrice) and Branagh(Benedick) are even funnier. I almost hated to see them get together. Denzel - what can I say? I have heard great reviews about all the actors and actresses; however, Keanu Reeves seems to get slam dunked in nearly every one. Though he certainly is not the hottest man around, his seemingly mechanical and irritating style is perfect for the role of the evil brother. This role was tailored for him - EVERYONE loves to hate him. That is exactly the response that Branagh wanted his audience to have!! If you have never read any of Shakespeare's works, see one of Branagh's films. The language is spoken so beautifully and effortlessly, that you won't hate Shakespearan language ever again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was just ok
Published 2 days ago by casey caulfield
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite productions of Much Ado About Nothing
One of my favorite productions of Much Ado About Nothing. Branagh and Thompson are brilliant. And I LOVE Keaton's Dogberry.
Published 6 days ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars 10
I see many lengthy reviews and all I can say is this....if I had 10 thumbs, they'd be all up
Published 7 days ago by Jeff Stryker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this version!
Published 11 days ago by Amy R. Bell
2.0 out of 5 stars much ado about nothing
It was okay but did not hold my interest. Only watched about 30minutes of the movie. Will not recommend it to friends.
Published 12 days ago by Helen Hutchison
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
So boring
Published 15 days ago by Susanna Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing cast. Really well done. I really love the characters and the beautiful scenery.
Published 20 days ago by Denise Briggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest thing I've ever seen!
This is the funniest thing I've ever seen! Best play Shakespeare ever wrote. Great acting and great portrayal of the romance between Benedick and Beatrice. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Mikayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 1 month ago by George
5.0 out of 5 stars ... probably the reason Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite...
This film is probably the reason Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespeare play.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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