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Shakespeare on Film - The Tournament

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jan H, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    The Bard has been a passion of mine for years, but I've found that film adaptations of his plays are strangely under-discussed on this forum. I want to find out which film version of a Shakespeare play is the greatest of them all. TV versions (I.E. the two great King Lears with Olivier and Ian Holm, respectively) are fair game, as are films that use the plot but not the text (Throne of Blood and "O" come to mind). I'll start with 16 films, but if there's interest (and enough voters), we can go to 32. 3 nominations, 3 2nds, and 3 3rds for everyone. A film needs a third to get in the tourney.


    Needing a third:

    Strange Brew
    Chimes at Midnight
    Hamlet (1990 - Zeffirelli, Gibson)
    Tromeo and Juliet
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Scotland PA

    Needing a second:

    Hamlet (2000 - Hawke)
    L.A. Story
    Othello (Olivier)
    Macbeth (1948)
    Othello (1952
    Othello (1995)
    Taming of the Shrew (1967)
    Love's Labour's Lost
    10 Things I Hate About You

    IN THE TOURNAMENT:

    RAN
    HENRY V (OLIVIER)

    HENRY V (BRANAGH)
    RICHARD III (McKELLEN)

    FORBIDDEN PLANET
    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
    THRONE OF BLOOD
    HAMLET (BRANAGH)
    ROMEO AND JULIET (1968 - ZEFFIRELLI)

    TITUS
    MACBETH (POLANSKI)
    JULIUS CAESAR

    WEST SIDE STORY
    ROMEO + JULIET (1996)

    HAMLET (OLIVIER)
     
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I'll nominate

    West Side Story
     
  3. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    Nominate:

    Ran
    Chimes at Midnight
    Hamlet
    ('96 Branagh version)

    I think 32 is achievable. Only problem might be the abstains (though maybe not). I've seen a great deal of them myself, though.

    Evan
     
  4. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    I forgot to add one thing: I get to vote!

    Nominate:

    Olivier X3:

    Hamlet
    Henry V
    Othello


    Good choice on Chimes at Midnight, Evan. To my knowledge, it's the only representation of Falstaff on film. Though I will happily be corrected. I'll save my 2nds and 3rds for later. [​IMG]
     
  5. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    There's a pseudo-Falstaff in My Own Private Idaho (during the inexplicable Henry IV knockoff part of the film), but he's got nothing on Welles.

    Evan (who always felt Oliver Hardy would've made a good Falstaff in one of those 1930s Hollywood All-Star Shakespeare adaptations)
     
  6. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    Second Olivier's Henry V

    Evan
     
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    Never seen "Idaho". I'm guessing River Phoenix wasn't Falstaff [​IMG] Oliver Hardy as Falstaff? Hardy Har Har! [​IMG] Physically yes, but I'm guessing old Ollie would have had problems with the language. But maybe not. I see the character more as Robbie Coltrane (who, now that I think of it, played him in Branaghs' Henry V).
     
  8. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    Perhaps Ollie might have trouble with the language (he'd no stage training--not even vaudeville), but he'd have absolutely nailed the false hero/true coward and relentless self-promotion aspects. And I don't know anyone in Hollywood history who reacted more hilariously to having his lies exposed (imagine his performance at the conclusion of Sons of the Desert transferred to Falstaff's rising post-robbery exaggerations in Act II, Scene IV). It might not be "Shakespeare" but it'd be damn funny.

    Evan
     
  9. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I'll nominate:

    Much Ado About Nothing (Branagh)

    Henry V (Branagh)

    Richard III (McKellen)

    I'll second:

    Ran

    Chimes at Midnight

    Hamlet (Branagh)

    I'll Third:

    Henry V (Olivier)
     
  10. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    I nominate Tromeo and Juliet
     
  11. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    I'll second

    Richard III (McKellen)

    Evan, now that you put it that way, Hardy is definitely Falstaffian in that sense.
     
  12. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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    I'll third Ran.

    Nominate:
    L.A. Story
     
  13. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I nominate Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet
     
  14. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    Second:

    Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet

    Nominate:

    Scotland PA
    Hamlet (2000)
     
  15. JenB

    JenB Screenwriter

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    Second:

    Henry V (Branagh)
    West Side Story

    Two of my favorite Shakespeare adaptations. [​IMG]

    How about a list to keep track at the top of the thread, Jan?
     
  16. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Nominate

    Throne of Blood
    Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990)
    Forbidden Planet
     
  17. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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    Second:
    Forbidden Planet
     
  18. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    A list is in place. Good choices, so far. Take 2 more of each for a total of 5!
     
  19. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Nominate Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    Nominate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Third Henry V
    Third Richard III
     
  20. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    Nominate: Titus and Julius Caesar ('53?) (Hamlet Goes Business is a bit too obscure)

    Second: Throne of Blood and Much Ado About Nothing

    Third: Forbidden Planet

    Evan
     

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