At Long Last Like
E. E. Kuersten | East Village, NY United States | 05/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite Shakespeare play, and I've often wondered why no one has ever made another movie version in all this time. This adaption is dated but generally well done, with an actively moving camera and some scattered attempts at making it more than merely a "filmed play." If you've seen it on TV then you probably remember the sound as awful and the picture pretty blurry (like many public domain movies, awful prints are everywhere). So know that this dvd is from an excellent print, with the sound much clearer, (though still not great) and the picture 10 times better than I have seen. So if you are wondering if this dvd is worth getting even if only to replace your inaudible old VHS copy, then let me assure you Arden has never looked better, nor Elisabeth Bergner's shrill voice more effortlessly deciphered. I would not change it."
Old-fashioned, but fun
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 06/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This version of "As You Like It" has not aged well. The modern approach to Shakespeare, with more natural dialog and realistic costuming, has left the tight-wearing overly theatrical players of old looking a bit foolish. They strut around the stage with obvious gusto and verve, but they just never connect.With that in mind, "As You Like It" can be fun. The play itself is a bit silly, and the actors even sillier. The director made no attempt to disguise the feminine status of Elizabeth Bergener. She remains a pretty girl in boys clothes with a screeching soprano voice. To his credit, Olivier plays it as straight as an oak, and never for a minute doubts her ill-conceived charade. Jacques is in full motley, making his presence in Arden forest even more absurd. Lacking any other version on DVD, "As You Like It" contains a certain charm. Just be prepared. Your "willful suspension of disbelief" has never been so sorely tested."
Try the 1978 version with Helen Mirren
Carvet | 08/16/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a bad play, but it feels tight. I wanted to see it to compare with the 1978 version with Helen Mirren (just about impossible to find - try Ambrose Video and sit down for the price). The setting is forcefully lush, but feels plastic. My general view is that Shakespeare needs to be "slowed down", performance-wise and most old movies (40-50 years) seem rushed."
This is the version of AS YOU LIKE IT to own
Donald Edwards | USA | 06/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had recently purchased the Alpha Video version of this 1937 classic and
when I viewed it I just died. Beat up, cut up, scratched up copy of this timeless classic. Lousy sound quality to boot. The Alpha Video film didn't even feature the Twentieth Century fanfare opening ("Da da da da - da da da da DA..." you know it) which is included on the superior Blackhawk Films collection transfer.
The long and short is this is the best DVD of AS YOU LIKE IT on the market. Yes, you'll pay a premium for it, but I was thrilled by the quality of the film and the superb performances of Olivier and Elisabeth Bergner shine through. This was the first Olivier Shakespeare production, and from a historic perspective it demonstrates the genesis of his craft. Elisabeth Bergner's rendition is nothing short of ethereal and can never be duplicated. If you are a fan of this age old classic do your self a favor and buy this version. Although not perfect, I consider it to be one of Shakespeare's best film adaptations ever and, by gosh, shouldn't you be able to enjoy the play without having to be distracted by poor technical considerations? Enough said."