Shakespeare's Plays: The Best Films

A Listmania! list by Ann O'Nymous
 
Titus [VHS] [2000]
1.  Titus [VHS] [2000] VHS Anthony Hopkins
The list author says:
  "Oh my. The best film of Shakespeare EVER. Gorgeous visuals, outrageous setting, brave adaptation. Some of the acting is too internalised, but Laura Fraser and Colm Feore rule, and Alan Cumming is God."
£6.98   Used & New from: £2.50
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Henry V [VHS]
2.  Henry V [VHS] VHS Kenneth Branagh
The list author says:
  "Sir Larry's film cut the play to make King Henry an uncomplicated hero; Branagh's is more complex (although still over-sentimental, IMHO)"
£7.40   Used & New from: £0.98
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

King Lear [VHS]
3.  King Lear [VHS] VHS Paul Scofield
The list author says:
  "There are no perfect Lear films. Peter Brook's version is too slow, but its frozen Arctic landscape is beautifully bleak, and Paul Schofield's Lear is like an eroded mountain range."
£4.91   Used & New from: £1.97
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Macbeth [VHS]
4.  Macbeth [VHS] VHS Jon Finch
The list author says:
  "A wonderfully nasty interpretation of Macbeth, packed with blood, gore and horror, which is exactly what you wantin a play like this. John Finch is a dull Macbeth, but the rest of the cast are superb."
£12.00   Used & New from: £1.25
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Merchant of Venice [VHS] [1973] [1974]
5.  The Merchant of Venice [VHS] [1973] [1974] VHS Laurence Olivier
The list author says:
  "Hardly a work of genius, but the best version available. Sir Larry's Shylock is original and worth seeing."
£14.94   Used & New from: £2.09
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

A Midsummer Night's Dream [A Royal Shakespeare Company Production] [VHS] [1996]
6.  A Midsummer Night's Dream [A Royal Shakespeare Company Production] [VHS] [1996] VHS Lindsay Duncan
The list author says:
  "'The Dream' has never been filmed well, but this adaptation of an RSC stage production is better than the others."
£6.97   Used & New from: £2.45
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Much Ado About Nothing [VHS] [1993]
7.  Much Ado About Nothing [VHS] [1993] VHS Kenneth Branagh
The list author says:
  "Branagh's best film, a delicious Tuscan romance with infectious humour. Shame about Michael Keaton, though."
£4.99   Used & New from: £0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)

The Taming Of The Shrew [VHS]
8.  The Taming Of The Shrew [VHS] VHS Elizabeth Taylor
The list author says:
  "An entertaining exercise in fast-paced Elizabethan thigh-slapping humour."
£3.99   Used & New from: £0.50
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

Othello [VHS] [1952]
9.  Othello [VHS] [1952] VHS Orson Welles
The list author says:
  "Avoid the turgid Laurence Fishburne film and enjoy this bizarre labour of love filmed on a miniscule budget over several years. It's hardly perfect, but the opening scene will blow your mind."
Used & New from: £4.74
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Richard III [VHS] [1995] [1996]
10.  Richard III [VHS] [1995] [1996] VHS Ian McKellen
The list author says:
  "Although Sir Larry Olivier's Richard is unforgettable, Sir Ian's version gives room to the other characters, and creates a dazzling 1930s settting."
£19.89   Used & New from: £2.99
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Romeo And Juliet [VHS] [1997]
11.  Romeo And Juliet [VHS] [1997] VHS Leonardo DiCaprio
The list author says:
  "Zefirelli's version is straightforward and fun, but Baz's is one of the most beautiful films in the history of the movies. Who cares if Leo can't act? Romeos never can: it's traditional."
£5.00   Used & New from: £0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Prospero's Books [VHS] [1991]
12.  Prospero's Books [VHS] [1991] VHS John Gielgud
The list author says:
  "There are no good films of 'The Tempest', and so your best bet is this eccentric adaptation in which all the lines are spoken by Prospero (Sir John Gielgud). It's beautiful, bonkers and intriguing."
£12.99   Used & New from: £2.74
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Hamlet [VHS]
13.  Hamlet [VHS] VHS Mel Gibson
The list author says:
  "Olivier's is too short; Branagh's is too long and self-important; Almereyda's is inventive, but no-one can act. Zefirelli's version is exciting and cinematic, and Mel Gibson isn't too bad."
£11.99   Used & New from: £0.99
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Twelfth Night [VHS]
14.  Twelfth Night [VHS] VHS Richard Briers
The list author says:
  "Forget the unfunny Trevor Nunn film, this cheap and cheerful TV production is the best. It's directed by Branagh (despite what Amazon says), and has Richard Briers as an unforgettable Malvolio."
£3.40   Used & New from: £0.83
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Author

Ann O'Nymous
Qualifications: teacher
Last updated: 13/11/2002
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