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A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Actors: Judi Dench, Donald Eccles, Derek Godfrey, Ian Holm, Michael Jayston
Director: Peter Hall
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
UR     2005     2hr 4min

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is one fo Shakespeare's earliest comedies yet still resounds with the brilliance and charm of his later works. Directed by Peter Hall using THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE ACADEMY's cast of actors, this 19...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Judi Dench, Donald Eccles, Derek Godfrey, Ian Holm, Michael Jayston
Director: Peter Hall
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Love & Romance
Studio: Water Bearer Films,
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/10/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

See Them At the Outset of Their Careers!
F. S. L'hoir | Irvine, CA | 05/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Avoid at All Costs
M. Spitzer | 03/26/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Could Water Bearer Films have found a print in worse condition? With weaker, more faded color? There is a note on the back cover that the "Digital color enhancement" has been copyrighted - that's enhancement? And on top of it all it looks like a poor copy of a VHS tape. The wretched quality of the picture... and the sound as well... make the DVD virtually unwatchable. A 1968 film shouldn't look as bad as this. I guess we're just supposed to be grateful that the film is available on DVD - thanks, but no thanks, Water Bearer."
Overwhelming Star Power.
Mike Simonsen | San Francisco, CA | 04/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The film source materials start off looking battered, but the image cleans up pretty quickly.

More importantly, the performances are uniformly strong, without a weak link to be found. If you are familiar with Ian Richardson and Judy Dench only from their recent work, this movie will be an eye-opener. Bill Travers' Snout is a treasure, and Paul Rogers leaves behind his usual kings and bullies to give a vocally astonishing performance as Bottom.

Most productions of this play have trouble balancing the scenes of the confused lovers in the forest with the Pyramis and Thisbe farce at the end - usually one or the other gets out of control, but this one gets it right for once. There is a little self-conscious film editing a la Richard Lester and the New Wave that has dated, but doesn't really kill the occasion. The language and atmosphere are magical, as good as it gets.

Some of the whining in these reviews is silly. There is no other Midsummer Night's Dream so evenly and superlatively cast, and it's worth putting up with less than optimal print quality to watch and listen to them."
Four Stars for the Stars
The JuRK | Our Vast, Cultural Desert | 08/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had this film on video and the transfer was horrible.

Yes, the dialogue is read faster than the cast of the original horror flick THE THING could've done it, the green makeup of the fairies comes and goes like sunscreen...but this film is worth seeing for the cast alone.

Diana Rigg is as sexy as she ever was as Mrs. Emma Peel from "The Avengers" or Mrs. James Bond in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.

Judi Dench, who would become 007's boss "M" in the Pierce Brosnan Bond films, runs around in green paint and pasties. If the crew of the Enterprise had beamed down into this production, Captain Kirk would've added another hot green chick to his list of conquests (alongside Yvonne Craig).

David Warner, an actor whose career goes from THE OMEN to TIME BANDITS to TRON to TITANIC, plays one of the "human" leads.

Helen Mirren looks like she just got out of high school--so young and fresh and pretty! She would go on to many sexy roles. One of the weirdest ones was THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER.

And Ian Holm, perhaps best remembered as the milk-sweating android from the original ALIEN, plays a hyper, twitching fairy. He was also great in THE SWEET HEREAFTER and in the Mel Gibson version of HAMLET.

Any one of these actors would've been worth watching in a Shakespearean production...but to have them all?
Definitely worth watching."