Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t start with me about who wrote Shakespeare.  Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare and today is his birthday.  Celebrate with some of the many, many movie versions of, about, or inspired by his plays.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. The Taming of the Shrew Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton bring their legendary combustible chemistry to this rambunctious version of Shakespeare’s most famous battle of the sexes.  For an extra treat, pair it with the Cole Porter musical it inspired, Kiss Me Kate.

YouTube Preview Image

2. Romeo + Juliet Baz Lurhmann’s dazzling version of one of the world’s great tragic love stories is a treat for the eyes, ears, and soul.  For an extra treat, pair it with the more traditional version directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

YouTube Preview Image

3.  Shakespeare In Love This best-picture and best-actress Oscar winner is a highly fictionalized account of the writing of “Romeo and Juliet,” with the magnificent Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth and a brilliantly witty script by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.  For an extra treat, try to catch a performance of  A Cry of Players, a play about the young Shakespeare by the author of “The Miracle Worker.”

YouTube Preview Image

4. Henry V There is the thrill of the St. Crispian’s Day speech.  There is the heart-wrenching parting with the old friends who cannot be a part of the young king’s new life.  But for me, the greatness of this play is that in the midst of all of the drama, Shakespeare inserts a scene of a young French princess trying to learn English so she can understand the man who is walloping her countrymen — and makes it work.  For an extra treat, compare it to the Laurence Olivier version, very much the product of its WWII era.

YouTube Preview Image

5. The Tempest My own favorite of Shakespeare’s plays is thrilling with Helen Mirren as Prospera, a wizard who calls on all her powers of enchantment to provide a happy ending for her daughter and justice for herself.  For an extra treat, try the space-age adaptation,  Forbidden Planet.

YouTube Preview Image


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Wendy

    Good and interesting picks (and I like your “extra treats”). I haven’t heard of A Cry of Players. I’ll have to check it out.

Previous Posts

Movies' Greatest Mirror Scenes
Anne Billson has a great piece in The Telegraph on mirror scenes in movies, from the Marx brothers clowning in "Duck Soup" and the shootout in "The Lady from Shanghai" to Elizabeth Taylor scrawling on the mirror with lipstick in "Butterfield 8." [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKTT-sy0aLg

posted 8:00:51am Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?
Someone once said that movies are "pieces of time." A few take place in "real time." Alfred Hitchcock's experiment, "Rope," unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. But others take place over days, weeks, years, even generations. Slavko Vorkap

posted 8:00:40am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Boring TV Makes You Fat
A new study finds that boring television leads to mindless snacking and that leads to putting on pounds. So, watch programs that excite and engage you. Or, if the show is boring, turn off the television.

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Switched at Birth and the End of Life
I'm a big fan of ABC Family's Switched at Birth and have appreciated its complicated characters, honest and heartfelt relationships, and compelling storylines, as well as its unprecedented, in-depth portrayal of the deaf community. Last week's episode may have been the all-time best (SPOILER ALERT)

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014
It's here!  San Diego Comic-Con begins Wednesday night in San Diego and I'll be there.  This is my favorite event of the year, a chance to find out what everyone will be watching, listening to, playing, and otherwise enjoying over the next few years.  As I always say, this is the Iowa caucuses of

posted 8:00:20am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.