Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Fire Kids Edition Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5
4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 29 March 2006
Although the scratchy unrestored color makes this DVD it look as if it had been pirated in a movie theatre thirty years ago, it is well worth buying if only to see the delightful performances of young Helen Mirren as Hermia, Diana Rigg (taking a break from Emma Peel) as Helena, Judy Dench as Titania, Ian Richardson (who gives a preview of his "House of Cards" sardonic smile) as Oberon, and even the husband of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) as Snug the Joiner. The production (with its pink-lipped green fairies and hairy-chested Puck) may have been misguided, but the actors shine as future stars of British stage and cinema.
Because of the poor quality and the faded print, I'd actually give it three and 1/2 stars. I still recommend it, however, as a piece of historical interest.
33 Comments| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 June 2011
_____________________________________

:(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>):

*DVD:(A Midsummer Night's Dream):1968:Directed by,(Peter Hall)*
*************************************************

Hello there...
I have seen a number of clips of this, (wonderfully unique), English production of (A Midsummer Night's Dream) directed by, (Peter Hall) on YouTube...
This film has a refreshingly young cast of future UK greats...

Greats, such as:

[DIANA RIGG]:> (Helena)...
[HELEN MIRREN]:> (Hermia)...
[JUDI DENCH]:> (Queen Titania)...
[BARBARA JEFFORD]:> (Hippolyta)...
[MICHAEL JAYSTON]:> (Demeteius)-(in his 1st ever film role)...
[CLIVE SWIFT]:> (Snug)...
[IAN HOLM]:> (Puck), {or, Robin Goodfellow}...
[IAN RICHARDSON]:> (King Oberon)...
[BILL TRAVERS]:> (Snug)...
[PAUL ROGERS]:> (Bottom)...
[DAVID WARNER]:> (Lysander)...
[NICHOLAS SELBY]:> (Egeus)...
[DERIK GODFREY]:> (Theseus)....
(and a host of other fine actors)... Wow!!, is'nt that a fantastic cast!...
(The original music is composed by: [GUY WOOLFENDEN]....

This production of, [A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM] was the first, (Live-Action) film version to be filmed in colour, (unless you count the 1966 adaptation by: [GEORGE BALENCHINE] with the NYC Ballet)....

This, (ingeniously imaginative) UK production of 124'minutes duration, [which is vertually faithful to the text] was released in September of 1968 by, [PATHWAYS FILMS], and [ROYAL SHAKESPEARE ENTERPRISES]... In the following year when it was given a US release it went straight to CBS Network television and was Premiered on a Sunday evening, (with commercials) on the 9th February 1969, and did not receive a theatrical release.. In 1969 it was also nominated for an Emmy Award....

Most, if not all, of this (star studded) cast, have been, or still are, active members of the world famous, [ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY] based at Stratford-Upon-Avon, in the county of Warwickshire, England.. Also, this production has been filmed in the gloriously green, and luscious British countryside, and its woodland situation gives this comedic (Shakespearian Romp) a beautiful sence of fresh air, and closeness..
This film can also be described as being a quintessentially English creation, which, (like a time capsule) has wonderfully captured those heady, giddy, and intoxicating days of the mid to late 1960s.. It is loaded with the, (then new) artistic freedom's, so redolent of late 1960s London Town...

(Now comes the profoundly illogical, and very very sad bit)...

BUT!, BUT!!, Oh dear me, BUT!!!, (Madness of all MADNESSES!!!)...
This 1968 Shakespearian gem, which was produced, and created in the UK is NOT!!, I repeat NOT!! available for viewing in the UK on a (REGION 2) DVD Format!!!.. Oh dear, oh dearie, dearie me.. It does not make any sense at all... Please excuse me for a moment... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!... So sorry about that... It should'nt happen again... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!... Sorry....

PAUSE........

You may detect that I am more than a little bit irritated by all this STUPID!! DVD (Regional code) nonsense..
How crazy it would be if quintessential US films, such as, [CITIZEN KANE], [GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL], [STAGECOACH], or [CUSTERS LAST STAND] were not available on a (REGION 1) DVD format for the US market, but had only been released on a (REGION 2) DVD format for European use only...

l think that now would be a very good time for this, (era defining) piece of dramatic art to be fully restored, and given the full (computerised restoration treatment) that it so richly deserves. Then after much, lovingly applied (Digital Refurbishment) to be re-released with (full pomp), and (fanfares of trumpets) on a new (ALL REGION'S) DVD format..

Come on, all you Film Industry people, its time for DVD products to be released upon a (NEW!) single, and standard DVD format...
Now, I expect that you (DVD business people) think that it makes good business sense to have so many different DVD Regional format codes, which in effect makes a perfectly usable DVD completely obsolete, and utterly useless if its owner happens to be in the wrong part of the world.. I am here to tell you that it does'nt make any sense at all to your, all important, and (livelihood providing!!) customers, who are profoundly irritated, and who are absolutely fed up with it...

We have a saying here in the UK, and it goes like this, "GlVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!!"...
Now l know that these past attitudes towards customer care may seem somewhat antiquated, and rather old fashioned today, and that they hark back to a former (Standard Of Customer Care) that no longer exists, but these very standards of Customer Care need to be re-introduced again...

I'm sure that some of todays business people may be of the opinion, "Why Should A Customers Needs Come First?, I Like It The Way It Is".. The answer to this question is obvious, "Because Without Your Customers You Have Nothing"!!...
Its time to bring back these former, and time trusted standards of customer care, and to put (ALL DVD RELEASES) on to a single (WORLDWIDE and NON-REGIONAL) DVD format!!...

It really is very, very sad that these former marketing values, where the customers needs came first, should seem so alien, and foreign to us today, when we compare them to our present (Throw That DVD Away, And Buy Another One) society...
The world of marketing would benefit greatly if we were to return again to those halcyon days when the paramount factor in the world of commerce was, (Customers Care), and where the preferential treatment of the customer was the norm, and where the needs of the customer (Always Came First!)...

Please!, Please!, Please!, let us bring about these necessary changes in DVD formatting, and lets bring this most confusing, and profoundly irriating multi regional issue to an end...

It is a possibility that the BBC may have had an initial interests in this film, and as a result they may have stored away an original negative copy somewhere, or if not a negative copy, maybe a decent positive copy, (although in the face of the BBC's storage room clear-out policy this is not very likely)....

The only other ray of hope that I have detected on the horizon is coming from, [SOUTH KOREA] who appear to be producing, and exporting more (All Region) DVD's, (but as yet not the above title)... If this is true I say, "Well done Korea!", and as for all the other, (DVD Dinosaurs) who refuse to provide (All Region) DVD's for their costumers, well, may they no-longer be prosperous...
But lets us all hope that DVD producers all over the World will follow this brilliant [SOUTH KOREAN] lead, and get their acts together by producing this new single! (WORLDWIDE) DVD Classification format soon!!....

Thankyou very much for taking the time to read this statement/review about a very good film, and the very important single DVD region code issue... Happy viewing.. Chris...

:(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>)::(<>):

_____________________________________
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 28 February 2007
An independent film Directed by Peter Hall and The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon. This is one of those gems that allow many famous personalities of the time to display a little culture.

There are many fun facets of this film; right off we notice all the actors in a much earlier version. Who would have thought that Judi Dench was once so cute? And Helen Mirren before she was queen. Each version of midsummer Night's Dream displays a different star cast; and also to our advantage displays a different emphasis and dialog of William Shakespeare.

Then there is the negative side. Look closely and it looks like an Italian film with English dubbing; the words and voices are not quite in sync. The cameraman is the one that filmed "The Blare Witch."

Believe it or not it is better the second time through.

This film is a must for the collector.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 October 2013
This is a filmed record of a wonderful RSC Stratford production of 1968 with most of the original cast from a few years earlier. Sadly, there is no Charles Laughton to reprise his outstanding Bottom (no pun intended but understood anyway) of the original Hall production, but Paul Rogers does very well of course. But come see Warner, Dench, Mirren, Rigg, Jayston, Ian Richardson, Bill Travers and all have a magical time. As a movie it is rough but the stage production is there, so who cares? This is history before your very eyes as well as great fun.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 September 2016
Many of our greatest thespians starred in this film but I was left cold by the whole venture. The only person who seemed to be making sense of the dialogue was David Warner; what he said and how he said it seemed to come from a shared place. The rest of the acting (if that is what it was) seemed to be about keeping rhythm and not about projecting any meaning. Maybe it is worth watching so you can try and identify actors who have taken on huge roles later in their careers (e.g. Bilbo Baggins, M) but the film gave me no pleasure at all; it was just such hard work to follow and I developed no real interest in any of the characters..
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse