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As You Like It [VHS] [1992]


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Product details

  • Actors: James Fox, Cyril Cusack, Andrew Tiernan, Cate Fowler, Robin Meredith
  • Directors: Christine Edzard
  • Writers: William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Celia Bannerman, George Reinhart, Olivier Stockman
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Walt Disney
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008T4YP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,157 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A modern re-working of the classic Shakespearean play which contrasts the high finance world of the city with the cardboard jungle of the down and outs on London's streets. Rosalind is forced out of her wealthy home into the forest of Arden, where survival on the streets is hinged on her disguise as a boy. Betrayed and rejected by those she loves, she is followed by Orlando her lover, but in order to test his love she maintains her disguise and the two pit their wits against the dangers of street life and re-find love.

From the Back Cover

Disguised as a boy, Rosalind (Emma Croft) escapes from the plotting and whispering at the court of the Duke to the Forest of Arden, the urban wasteland where the exiled good Duke lives with his court of drop-outs by camp fires and in polythene tents. In this wilderness, where no-one is quite what they appear and everything is a reflection of something else, Rosalind can witness and test Orlando’s love.

The ironic commentary by Jacques (James Fox) and the comical antics of Touchstone (Griff Rhys Jones) act as a counterpoint to the central story of true love – tested and triumphant. Shakespeare’s comedy, written 400 years ago, is as modern as ever in this superb new adaptation in the original language.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By V. J. Leventis on 10 Dec 2006
Format: DVD
I was unlucky enough to encounter this film during my study of the Shakespeare play. This was not a bit of 'fun' on the side of coursework, but a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible experience.

One could argue that the modern, and considerably seedy, settings make an artistic statement; this could also be applied to the use of the same actor for the roles of Orlando and Oliver. I think not. It is illustrative of the resounding fact that this film is terrible, it had a low budget, it had rubbish actors (ignoring James Fox, which I really do not understand...), and that the director had absolutely no insight into the themes and issues the play brings to light.

Do not, do not, do not buy this film. A class of teenagers, yearning to avoid working in English, begged their English teacher to turn this film off. Even he, a man who has rather individual taste, thought it resembled something close to a turd.

This film offers nothing if you wish to be more 'cultured', learn about the play from a different perspective, or just generally watch a good film.

I hope I have sufficiently conveyed how dire this film is.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By TJML on 12 Dec 2006
Format: DVD
A miserable production sans colour, sans humour, sans warmth. Directors should be adventurous and imaginative in adapting Shakespeare, but they should also expect others to judge their efforts. This was dull. The actors never had a chance to express either the philosophy or the merriment of the play. Exchanging the Forest of Arden for a recycling tip was tantamount to swapping green leaves with grunge. Wintry light and coldness pervades. Oh misery!

At least I only rented it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniela Cox on 12 Sep 2010
Format: DVD
Having read some discouraging and - as I was to find out - in detail erroneous reviews in advance I was more than pleasantly surprised when I finally watched this movie. Christine Edzard introduces the motive of mirror and reflection right at the beginning, when Jaques is reciting "All the world's a stage" in a hall of mirrors, the same effect is achieved when the dualistic parts of Oliver/Orlando and the Dukes are played by the same actor. On the one hand there is Duke Frederick's court, set in some kind of representative architecture - and certainly not an office building as I've read in some other review - and on the other there is the exiled Duke living as a tramp in some concrete (modern) wasteland. Reflection and its effects is also intended when instead of the wrestling match between Charles and Orlando we can but see the audience's (fascinated) reactions to this most violent event. In contrast to Duke Frederick's brutal court, there is the poetic and in the true sense of the word timeless world of the homeless, which suits Shakespeare's description of the forest of Arden much better than an actual forest with its implications of merriment. The contrast between the bleak reality and the wonderful poetry of Shakespeare's verses are very intriguing and suitable, because there is not much to distract the viewer from the words and the actors. This results in some excellent performances and a movie I would highly recomment to anybody interested in Shakespeare and good and demanding acting and directing.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sam Bepek on 23 Feb 2007
Format: DVD
I love this version of As You Like It.

First, the cast is wonderful; my idea of great acting, no mannerism, no atempt to upstage each other, just the text and the performer. For once the actors seem free to deliver their part witout having to race, be forcefully funny or dramatic or even to twist the meaning of the words to make them say things that were not in the first place. Best of all in this film is CYRIL CUSACK who speaks Shakespeare as if it was his own nature.

Second, the gentle interpratation of the play which simply sets the action in a bleack urban setting rings true to me. After all the idea that the forest is such a great place for the duke in exile is meant as irony. The forest is above all EXILE and they are roughing it. The Duke has lost his power and he is excluded from court, he only makes out it is great... and it is a simplistic interpratation to suggest (as many do) that he really loves being a tramp in the forest. The setting of this film gives a truer reading.I also much enjoy the way Rosalind becomes a boy.... very clever!

STRONGLY RECOMENDED
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful surprise 1 Sep 2013
By Hari - Published on Amazon.com
Not a fan of contemporary staging, I was completely bowled over by the
perfection of this version - nothing was not perfect. Can't believe
I had never seen it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not Much to Like 17 Aug 2013
By Lauraine Leblanc - Published on Amazon.com
So, this is quite dated, as far as the clothing and styling of the production. Turning the forest of Arden into an industrial wasteland was an attempt to be contemporary, but just took all the charm out of the visuals and the sense out of Shakespeare's comparisons of court life versus pastoral life. Everything seemed very dull and gray. This is supposed to be a comedy, and music indicates that the producers knew that, so why is it not funny? Did Jaques produce this melancholy mess? A disappointment.
one to avoid 15 Sep 2014
By thebillshakespeareproject - Published on Amazon.com
In 1992, Christine Edzard filmed a modern dress version set in and around London. The homeless of the modern industrial wasteland were the denizens of the Forest of Arden. While that sounds like it might be interesting, and it might well be, but I wouldn’t know from this.

Stultifying.

It begins with Jaques’ “All the world’s a stage” speech in an opulent room. Why? I haven’t a clue. When Orlando and Oliver have their confrontation, there is no “laying on of hands” though they mention it. I didn’t realize that the two characters were played (and played excellently) by the same actor, Andrew Tiernan… so I guess they couldn’t have him interact with himself a la Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black. But still it felt off, wrong. As did the non-display of the wrestling match; all we saw were the reactions of the spectators.

Line readings were either bored or melodramatic, as if the attempt was being made to make the audience melancholy. Not helping was the overemphasized music.

This is not to say it’s all bad. Having Orlando’s poetry be urban graffiti was pretty cool, and Emma Croft’s Rosalind was ok (her Ganymede was much better, though). but it was mostly bad, without joy or comedy. Or resolution: the last on-screen, pre-credit line was Rosalind’s revelation to Orlando, delivered with a playful punch to the arm. The Jaques exposition about Frederick comes as a confused voice-over during the credits. And no epilogue.

And can anyone tell me why the “lion” who attacks the de Boys boys is a black man? A black man? Really?

Not good. Not enjoyable. This is one to avoid.
Unsuccessful modern transplant 2 Aug 2014
By CR - Published on Amazon.com
Some of the constructs in the modern setting (Arden as deserted public housing) make sense, but watch the Opus Arte version (in "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre") from 2009 and see which one you like better. The acting in this is fine, but in our opinion, Shakespeare doesn't translate very well to modern settings. 21st century customs (and morals) are so radically different, that modern settings for the plays that revolve on these issues just don't work; if they have to be transplanted in time and place, we think they'd do better if set in an era where the issues they address still existed - for example, Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night.
An odd but ultimately likable rendering of AS YOU LIKE IT 19 Aug 2014
By J. Pfundstein - Published on Amazon.com
Some very awkward staging choices here, and a criminally poor job in editing, but the movie was worth watching for the scenes between Orlando (Andrew Tiernan) and Rosalind (Emma Croft). The urban wasteland that serves as a substitute for the Forest of Arden worked surprisingly well, and James Fox does a good turn as Jaques. The script rearranges some of the scenes from Shakespeare's play, but effectively, I think, making a braided narrative between the court of the forest. Maybe not quite a four star movie, but better than three, with some risks that really pay off... and some that really don't.
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