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Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999]

Gwyneth Paltrow , Joseph Fiennes , John Madden    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
Price: £2.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999] + Romeo + Juliet [DVD] [1996]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Simon Callow
  • Directors: John Madden
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, German, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Dutch, Finnish, Czech
  • Dubbed: German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: UCA
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Feb 2004
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CZAP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

DVD Special Features

"making Of" Documentary
John Madden Commentary
Cast and Crew Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
21 TV Spots
Academy Awary Winning Costumes
Deleted Scenes
Language:English, Dolby Digital 5.1/German, Dolby surround
Subtitles: English/Dutch/German/Danish/Finnish/Swedish/Norweigan/Hebrew/Polish/Czech


One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies of the 1990s, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is filled with such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners and devilish cleverness that it's absolutely irresistible. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, at its outset the film tracks young Will Shakespeare's overwrought battle with writer's block and the efforts of theatre owner Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush, in rare form) to stage Will's latest comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Jokey comedy, though, soon takes a backseat to ravishing romance when the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in the all-male cast and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Soon enough, Will's pirate comedy becomes the beautiful, tragic Romeo and Juliet, reflecting the agony and ecstasy of Will and Viola's romance--he's married and she's set to marry the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).

The way that Oscar-winning screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard enfold their story within the parameters of Romeo and Juliet (and even Twelfth Night) is nothing short of brilliant--it would take a Shakespearean scholar to dissect the innumerable parallels, oft-quoted lines, plot developments, and thematic borrowings. And most amazingly, Norman and Stoppard haven't forgotten to entertain their audience in addition to riding a Shakespearean roller coaster, with director John Madden (Mrs. Brown) reigning in his huge ensemble with rollicking energy. Along the way there are small gems to be found, including Judi Dench's eight-minute, Oscar-winning turn as a truly regal Queen Elizabeth, but the key element of Shakespeare in Love's success rests on the milky-white shoulders of its two stars. Fiennes, inexplicably overlooked at Oscar time, is a dashing, heartfelt Will and as for Best Actress winner Paltrow, well, nothing she'd done before could have prepared viewers for how amazing she is here. Breathtakingly beautiful, fiercely intelligent, strong-willed and lovestruck--it's a performance worthy of Shakespeare in more ways than one. By the film's end, you'll be thoroughly won over--and brushing up your Shakespeare with newfound ardour. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
In 2003 (and at considerable expense) I bought the 'Superbit' DVD of this wonderful film to get the best picture quality I could and it was far better than the standard DVD version (even though it didn't have the extras the standard DVD did). But this January 2011 BLU RAY reissue with its superlative picture quality AND nicely complimentary extras - trumps all previous formats. And at less than ten quid, it's reasonably priced too. But to the details first...

Originally released into cinemas in early 1999, "Shakespeare In Love" was nominated for a whopping 13 Academy Awards and went on to win 7 - Best Picture, Best Leading and Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Set Design, Costumes and Music. So many things came together on this film - the inspired casting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes as Viola De Lessops and William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Rush as the permanently living-on-the-edge theatre owner Philip Henslowe (his dialogue titles this review), Colin Firth as the dastardly and arrogant Lord Wessex (wittily refers to life in 1593 as "Dallas in frocks"), right down to the ordinary-people emotion of Imelda Staunton who is superb as Viola's nurse. In fact the entire ensemble cast (Tom Wilkinson, Martin Clunes, Rupert Everett, Jim Carter and Simon Callow) are all superlative and add hugely to its overall classy feel. There's John Madden's assured direction (he did "Mrs. Brown"), the beautifully evocative score by Steven Warbeck, the 17 fully reconstructed buildings and two theatres created by the Production teams and of course the movie's true ace-in-the-hole - the stunning screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman which successfully emulates the bard's genius while at the same time making him real and human to us.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespearian Wit 20 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Stoppard certainly knows what he's about: The plot is delightful and the references elegant, clever parodies if you spot them or inconspicuous parts of the plot if you don't. And the references are on all levels: to Shakespeares plays, his unknown life and the many theories that have been made about it, and his writer and actor collegues. Normally I'd hate "the person behind the genius-films" because they miss the point that it's precisely the work, not the person, that's interesting. However, this is not so much a film about Shakespeare as a story in its own right. There is no temptation to believe that "this is really how it was" and yet the information is so true to the period that even specialists need not be annoyed by uninformed inconsistencies. It's a cornucopia of Shakespearian wit!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for what it is. 28 Sep 2007
I watched this movie not really expecting all that much from it I must admit, yes it had some big names (most notably in my opinion Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth) but apart from that it did seem to have little else that I would enjoy so I was most surprised with what it was. Yes the acting from some of them could have been better but it is still an amazing movie. It has the right mix of comedy ("Where's the dog?"), drama and romance... and that is without including the snippets of 'Romeo and Juliet' that are scattered throughout the piece and which i will also say are superbly used to add to the atmosphere.

Throughout the movie you are invited numerous times to experience the characters feelings and even I managed to feel sorry for 'Romeo' and 'Juliet' (aka. Shakespeare and Viola). My main problem with the movie is Queen Victoria (superbly acted by Dench) whose disposition seems to alter a bit too much.

I would most definitely recommend this movie to those people who can ignore the acting and just get swept up in the passion of the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well actually, this film stands on its own. Who knows this could be the way it happened or should have happened. Writer Tom Stoppard takes a few liberties with reality and time to bring you the "True" story behind Shakespeare's genius, which would never have surfaced if it were not for love, friendship, tragedy, and a Virgin Queen.

Young Shakespeare has writers block. Then he meets and falls in love with Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) the daughter of a nobleman, Viola on the other hand is interested in the forbidden fruit of acting.

This film is set with one-liners and many witty inferences as each character plays off of the other. We almost had the play "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter". My favorite line is when Philip Henslowe: The show must... you know... William Shakespeare: [prompting him] Go on!

Do not miss Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth. Her few appearances add spice to the film.

Judi Dench as Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream (1968)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bard of Avon calling....... 19 Dec 2008
Avon Bard Joe Fiennes gets hots for Ethel the Pirate's daughter, who is a girl playing a boy playing a girl - sort of Julian Clary in drag. She (Paltrow) however, whilst idolizing Master Shakespeare, is betrothed to big-shot baccy-owner and general bad odour Colin Firth, to be whisked off to the New World - Milton Keynes. Bard uses girl as his muse - the next line was deleted - and Geoffrey Rush gets his toasted shoes back before Queen Judi rumbles the lot of `em and sends girl packing to Virginia. She should have taken the train because the ship sinks. Love's labours lost. But all's well that ends well: how? - it's a mystery. Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard's clever plotline must have looked like a plate of spaghetti, brilliantly trapping little tell-tale Shakespeare-isms in the dialogue; Stephen Warbeck's music lifts the hairs on your neck and draws the lovers together. Master Rush goes off to find Aphrodite Baggett who does it behind the Dog and Crumpet. Best film of the 90s.
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