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Laurence Olivier Shakespeare Collection [DVD]
Format: DVDChange
Price:£17.95+Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2011
It is easy now to forget that Laurence Olivier was the first to film some of Shakespeare's greatest plays to compete with lighter entertainment at the box office. His Henry V, filmed with a much smaller cast and budget during the War as a morale-booster to the beleaguered British, is a brilliant production that still holds the interest. His Hamlet on film was controversial at the time for its Freudian interpretation and I hate the excessive cuts. Richard III and Othello (a film of his National Theatre production) set the standard for years afterward. Also included are The Merchant of Venice and King Lear from late in Olivier's career.

Olivier was a thrilling actor on the stage and much of his magic is captured these screen performances. I still miss him.
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102 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2009
Sir Laurence Olivier has long been considered the most accomplished Shakespearian actor ever to have taken to the stage, and this marvellous boxset provides all the evidence of that you'll ever need. His strength was that he understood the material so well, I can't think of any other actor of the age who showed such proficiency.

This set contains all of the notable plays, from the film created to restore sinking morales in the depths of World War II, Henry V, to his magnificent performance of King Lear, one of his final acting roles. The full list of the films in this set is as follows:

Henry V
Hamlet
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Richard III
As You Like It

If you want to see Shakespeare, this is surely the best way short of going to the theatre yourself. This collection really does show why Olivier really is held in such high esteem.

The boxset consists of 7 discs, with one for each of the films as well as a bonus disc with an insightful interview with Michael Parkinson.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2012
An excellent collection of interpretations of Shakespeare by Laurence Olivier which stay faithful to the written text.

Worth buying if only for Olivier's performances as Hamlet and King Lear, the latter of which is one of the most outstanding pieces of acting ever caught on film.

I cannot recommend this collection highly enough. Especially at this price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is probably the cheapest way to get a good selection of Shakespeare roles performed by Laurence Olivier, the definitive Shakespearean actor. The only film I wish was included in this collection was his version of Othello. I have not seen it and it is rather pricey to buy on it's own.

Henry V
Hamlet
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Richard III
As You Like It

As well as all the plays listed, it comes with an interview disc of Laurence Olivier being interviewed by Michael Parkinson. You love Shakespeare, you love Laurence Olivier? What are you waiting for? Buy it! Only quibble is because of the design of the packaging one of the discs keeps falling out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2013
this is one for the traditional... beautifully executed. I am enjoying the BBC Shakepseare Collection(dvd set).. and I have the new versions of some of Shakey's plays.. Hamlet in particular, done by Richard Branagh and another version played by David Tennant... but these are steeped in tradition and a joy to watch.. v atmospheric. Im pleased I purchased this set.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
If you want to see Shakespeare played at its dramatic best,then this is for you.Olivier really is the Master.His Richard the third is the best ever.He based his character on a cartoon villain.His acting is supreme.A must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2014
Purchased for my husband who is a fan both of Shakespeare and Laurence Olivier. I like Shakespeare but not Olivier, so he watches them on his own. He rates them highly, though, so I have to recommend them.
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on 22 August 2014
This was a present for my dad, but I have watched the plays too, and we both enjoyed them. His favourite was The Merchant of Venice.
I liked Henry V best because of the "look" of it: The action shifts from a performance in a theatre into a landscape which looks like a medieval painting with all the same errors in scale and perspective.... and beautiful colours.
By contrast, Hamlet was set in a bleak monochrome castle. Laurence Olivier was particularly good in this one.
Overall, this is a good introduction to Shakespeare.
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on 20 March 2014
Anyone who remembers Laurence Olivier will love this collection. And yes, some of the performances may be rated as hammy by todays standards of acting but these adaptations are wonderful and faithful to the original material.
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on 24 February 2013
A great selection of Laurence Olivier playing various Shakespeare roles. Just sheer indulgence for any Laurence Oliver fan. I totally recommend.
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