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A Midsummer Night's Dream [VHS]

3.9 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Derek Godfrey, Barbara Jefford, Nicholas Selby, Hugh Sullivan, David Warner
  • Directors: Peter Hall
  • Writers: William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Martin Ransohoff, Michael Birkett
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: November 7, 2000
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z1KG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,578 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A Midsummer Nights Dream VHS.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
It's first of all, Midsummer Night's Dream, always a winner. But also, this film is full of some magnificent stars when they were young.. Diana Rigg -- if she were all ya got, that would be enough. However, you get Ian Holm, who was the android in the first Aliens movie and also in Branagh's Henry V, and many other wonderful shows. Then, a young Dame Judi Dench.. a great performance and she's nearly nude to boot!!
And if you're a fan of the british comedy Keeping Up Appearances, you get a treat of watching a young Clive Swift (Richard in KUA).
This is fun, campy, and well deserving to be a keeper. Someone complained about the quality.. yes, this transfer of film to video has a couple of old-age problems, but they are way too few to notice by the discriminating eye.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie is awful. This movie is brilliant. Either way, Peter Hall brings *A Midsummer Night's Dream* off the screen and into your gut. The trick lies in enjoying the sensation of being disoriented: the film opens; it rains English rain; an English bird chirps; we see a stately English mansion; the word on the screen reads "ATHENS". The joke has begun.
But the film is more than a joke. Hall's filming constantly jars the viewer and wakes him/her up to the fact that logic and continuity are just concepts that we impose on an essentially chaotic world. At one moment Lysander and Hermia are in the court -- cut to them in a boat (although no time appears to have passed). Helena recites a soliloquy and, while doing so, pops up disconcertingly next to a pillar and then a bush and then a tree. We see Titania and Oberon run towards each other and come face to face -- only to cut to a view of them running towards each other all over again. Time, as in *Hamlet*, is out of joint. The performances are muted, almost sullen. The atmosphere, dark. And everyone gets muddy.
This film is not light and bright and sparkling, but it's a treat to see young Helen Mirren, Diana Rigg, Ian Holm and Judi Dench (watch her age, classically, through *Henry V*, *Hamlet* and *Shakespeare in Love*). The film, too, reveals how embedded in culture our Shakespeare is: the women wear eyeliner a la sixties; Hippolyta is in a leather miniskirt and go-go boots, and the fairies are very green partially naked flower children. The magic plant, love-in-idleness, is the drug of choice. Enjoy this dark ride through *A Midsummer Night's Dream.* Better yet, make an enormous bowl of popcorn and watch it back-to-back with the new version starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Do, however, make sure it's a very big bowl of popcorn.
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Format: VHS Tape
I just had to weigh in when I read the wide range of opinions posted regarding this film -- most seem to have strong feelings about it, either favorable or decidedly not so. OK, so the film quality is not ideal, and the jerky camera shots are intermingled with cheesy special effects... so what, the ACTING is excellent! The feeling and expression behind each and every actor and actress in this production is sincere and intelligent. Unlike certain "hot" actors on the current scene (Ahem... Mr. Branagh), these young players (many of whom have become the revered masters of today) deliver the goods with moderation, humility, humor, intellect, and yes, passion. They are also all eminently well trained in the classic style (it is the Royal Shakespeare Company, after all) and it shows. Throw all the modern special effects and scenery to the dogs... Fine acting like this is all I'll ever want.
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Format: VHS Tape
In this late 1960s production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", we are presented with Shakespeare for the Hippie Generation, complete with barely-clothed flower-children fairies in bad paint, courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
However, it is an overall thorough and winning production of the Bard's comedy, and what is striking is not only how well the two young female leads fit Shakespeare's description of them, but also, how the couples are each other's physical counterparts in so many ways. Barbara Jefford and Derek Godfrey lend dignity and elegance to the loving noble couple, Hippolyta and Theseus. Interstingly, they are both blue-eyed brunettes. One truly gets a sense of their happiness together. But a short while later, they are compelled, as rulers, to address the issue of young, fair, petite, Hermia (a young, sweet-voiced Helen Mirren, who has only improved with age), who is being forced to marry a man she does not love, with the alternatives of joining the Ancient Greek equivalent of a convent, or execution.
But the equally fair Lysander(David Warner), the man she does love, is planning to elope with her. As she anticipates a new life with her beloved, she consults her best friend, Helena (Diana Rigg), who is as tall, dark-haired, and large-boned as Demetrius (Michael Jayston)whom she loves, but who spurns her.
In the meantime, trouble in the fairy world will soon result in the wreaking of havoc among the mortals.
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