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Shakespeare Retold (2005) [DVD]

92 customer reviews

Price: £6.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Nick Malinowski, Johnny Vegas, Billie Piper, Imelda Staunton, Sarah Parish
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Acorn
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Dec. 2005
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BND09E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,633 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Four of Shakespeare's best known plays are interpreted into modern settings by some of Britain's leading television writers. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is adapted by Peter Bowker and stars Imelda Staunton, Bill Paterson, Rupert Evans and Johnny Vegas. The film takes place during a weekend in a holiday park. Theo (Patterson) and Polly (Staunton) have come to Dream Park to celebrate their daughter Hermia's engagement. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the night ahead holds revelations, fairies, transformations and plenty of love juice. 'The Taming Of The Shrew' stars Twiggy, Stephen Tompkinson, Jamie Murray and Rufus Sewell and is adapted by Sally Wainwright. Katherine Minola (Shirley Henderson) is a succesful politician, tipped for the leadership of her party. The only problem is, her awful temper has left her a 38 year old singleton, and everyone, from her party chairman to her sister, wants her to get married. Is passionate eccentric Petruchio (Rufus Sewell) the answer to her prayers? 'Much Ado About Nothing', when the bickering between broadcasters Beatrice (Sarah Parish) and Benedick (Damian Lewis) gets too much to take, their colleagues at South West TV come up with a cunning plan to shut the pair up. Meanwhile, lovely weathergirl Hero (Billie Piper) and dashing reporter Claude (Tom Ellis) are a match made in heaven - but does everyone want to see them so happy? Finally, 'Macbeth' stars James McAvoy and Keeley Hawes. Top chef Joe Macbeth (McAvoy) has worked hard to make Duncan Donahue's (Vincent Regan) restaurant a success. So, when he's told it'll all be his one day, what's to stop him taking it now?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A. Lalor on 2 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Before I begin may I just compliment Amazon for it's amazing service. Not only is this dvd fantastic value (being four movies for £4.98) Amazon also had it shipped to me here in Ireland within two days. So if you're one of those people who used to be like me and afraid of online shopping I urge you take the chance and start today. You won't be disappointed.

Well what can I say about these adaptations. Fantastic isn't the word. I, myself am a fan of Shakespeare but had never read any of the plays in this series but I am definitely putting it on my list of things to do following this exceptional series, which certainly proved that it is possible to take well-loved stories and make them relevant in the 21st century.

'Much Ado about nothing' is sharp, witty and funny. Setting it in a news studio was an excellent way of comtemporising the story. While viewers will undoubtedly enjoy the love/hate relationship between Benedict and Beatrice the story is at all times carefully balanced between comedy and the more serious elements in particular the secondary storyline involving up and coming star Billie Piper in the middle of a clausterphobic love-triange. The acting is top-notch, the humour clever and the romance credible. The only thing that annoyed me about this film (and this is the tiniest fault ever) was the omission of why Benedict left Beatrice in the first place. I felt such a revelation would have been much appreciated and perhaps made the relationship between the two leads more solid. 10 out of 10.

The Taming of the Shrew is by far the funniest of the four. This idea will work for some and not for others.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By skunktrain on 11 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I read the description of this DVD, I knew I had to have it. Since this DVD is not available in the US, I paid the extra to have it shipped from the UK, and I'm having to use a region-free DVD player to view it. It is totally worth the hassle!
"Taming of the Shrew" is worth it all by itself, really. Rufus Sewell is a very good actor, but I confess I usually didn't get too excited when I learned he was in a movie. (He's always fabulous but so often he plays creeps and bad guys.) In this production, however, he is *hilarous.* Brilliant! I am forever a Rufus Sewell fan now. His character is the perfect complement to Shirley Henderson's petite bundle of hate and hostility as the bad-tempered Kate. I also consider myself a fan of Henderson now as well. She's wonderful. These two characters--who are each a mess by themselves--somehow make a perfect (in an off-beat way) couple.
"Macbeth" is also very good. Keeley Hawes and James McAvoy really do a wonderful job in their roles, and the updated storyline (about an ambitious chef) is well done. Also, if you are a fan of "North & South" (BBC miniseries, based on the Gaskell novel) you'll notice that Richard Armitage (who played the brooding Mr. Thornton) has a smallish--but important--role as MacDuff.
"Much Ado About Nothing" is hilarious, enjoyable, and makes a believable update of that play. "Midsummer Night's Dream" is good as well.
Don't expect these stories to copy the original Shakespeare plays perfectly—they are adapted in ways that make the stories work for current times, while keeping the "spirit" of the original.
This is definitely worth the money! Even if you have to have the DVD shipped overseas.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 May 2007
Format: DVD
I love A Midsummer Nights Dream and really looked forward to the BBC 'Retold' version. It was as good as any of the 'classic' performances I've seen. It made for great family viewing.

In fact - none of these are weak - each one is fantastic in both production value and acting performance. The BBC has done a superb job and lovers of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare virgins alike should enjoy these excellent 'filmettes'.

Macbeth was very dark and disturbing (probably not for younger kids)- or, in a word - brilliant! It contrasted perfectly with the fun and comedic Midsummer Nights Dream.

I hope people stumble across these and feel inspired to explore other Shakespearian plays, or maybe those who struggled to follow a classic plot could watch these and re-try the original with their new-found understanding of the story.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was overjoyed to note that there wasn't yet another remake of Romeo and Juliet in this collection and delighted by the modern outlook on what some people now consider to be outdated plays. These adaptations are funny, fresh and put a whole new shine on Shakespeare, especially if like me you're into romantic comedies (The Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Nights Dream). I also liked the interpretation of Macbeth in a Chefs kitchen, a clever idea.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By just me on 31 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this and had it shipped to Canada. If your considering buying this do it - you won't be sorry. I loved everything about it - the scenery and photography, the music, the characters and the magnificent performances of the actors! I was concerned with the format difference and bought a new dvd player pal/ntsc multiregion but it played fine on my old el cheapo dvd player.
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