- 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: Not RatedNR
- 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)
A Midsummer Night's Dream [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it has a distractingly dated look-partially that's the camera and sound work.Published 1 month ago by Donald D. Doyle
aside from zeffirelli's romeo and juliet this production of shakespeare is the most accessible and rewarding for those who are not specifically shakespeare experts or purists... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Edward P. White
Did you ever know that Judi Dench, from as "Time Goes by" played the very sexy fairy queen? Did you know Ian Holms, Billbo Baggins from "Lord of the Rings," played... Read morePublished 2 months ago by ebastro
Worthwhile for its novelty value -- Judi Dench naked, Helen Mirren, etc. -- but it was not great cinema.Published 3 months ago by Bright Baby
This is just fun. The filming is just a bit ambitious trying to create special effects where none is needed (e.g. fairies disappearing rather than simply leaving).Published 3 months ago by Leo Katzenstein
This being one of Shakespeare's most-performed plays, and obviously a timeless favorite, you'd want to be assured that every time you see it, including in filmed form, you want to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jeff Kaliss
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