A Midsummer Night's Dream
1968, Peter Hall, UK, 124 min. With Helen Mirren, Judi Dench.
- Sun, Dec 18th 3:00pm
- Tue, Dec 20th 6:00pm
"A sparkling but unpretentious gem." — Kenneth S. Rothwell, Shakespeare on Screen: A Chronicle History
Eminent theater (and sometime film) director Hall was unusually faithful to the text in this high-spirited Royal Shakespeare Company production (shown in movie theaters in Europe and on TV in the U.S.). However, the title "Athens" cheekily superimposed over an English country manor lets us know right away that he's not going to be slavishly literal in his approach to Shakespeare's tale of mismatched lovers, meddling fairies, and hilariously inept tragedians. Despite the title, the weather is stubbornly, Britishly rainy, and there's a definite 1960s vibe to the costumes and camerawork. But the cast's the thing here, especially on the distaff side, with the mindboggling trio of Helen Mirren, Diana Rigg, and Judi Dench (the last nearly nude throughout) in the main female roles, ably supported by David Warner as lovesick Lysander, Ian Holm as mischievous Puck, and Paul Rogers making an ass out of himself as Bottom. 35mm. (MR)