Gorgeous sets, costumes, actors - but too many missing lines
Tim Daugard | 10/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""As You like It" Should be as light and lively as the recent version of "A Midsummer Nights Dream." Considering the age of the film, the sets and costumes are wonderful. Crowd scenes actually have a reasonable number of people. The production is movie - not stage play.
With that in mind, too much of the play is missing. Too many lines have been deleted, some for no reason. Often, the actors stand for a long silent shot, when the director easily could have had the missing line spoke in the same time. Many of the long passages are reduced to the first and last couple of lines. This hinders the character development and the pacing. It also makes the long speeches left, stand out to much, as if the director is saying "now wait, this part is important." Elisabeth Bergner as "Rosalind" is the worst offender. Many of her lnes are skipped, the worst of it is in the epilogue. Also missing - almost completely is act five.
The film transfer is okay, the sound is lacking high end compared to modern films. This may be due to the limitations of filming at the time. What was jarring, until I got use to it, was silence. When the actors aren't talking, there is no background - no music, no foley, just quiet. Something modern films should try once in a while.
As the only film of "As You Like It" on DVD, it will have to do until something better comes along. At the bargin price, it is a good film to fill the slot on the Shakesphere shelf. I lay in bed after watching it, trying to figure out who should play Rosalind in a new version. . ."
Very disappointing transfer of this Shakespeare classic.
Donald Edwards | USA | 05/05/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I had not viewed the 1937 version of AS YOU LIKE IT for many years and was appalled how poor a dvd transfer this ALPHAVIDEO is. The film appears flakey and beaten up, low contrast (blurry) with a barely audible sound track. It is a shame because this is an endearing performance of Shakespeare's masterpiece, with outstanding performances from Sir Lawrence Olivier (his first Shakespeare film) and Elizabeth Bergner. The "seven ages of man" soliloquy is one of the greatest ever written. J.M. Barrie, the author of PETER PAN, adapted the bard's play for the screen. Into the waste bin this travesty goes. I have opted to buy the HBO version (1999) and am keeping my fingers crossed (HBO typically delivers quality product and I have been delighted with their offerings in the past)."
Lost in the fog
Caballero del febo | Antony, France | 05/14/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The sound on this Alpha Video DVD is dismal: you often can't make out what the actors are saying. After paying a bargain price for this unwatchable film, I'm going to fork out some more to get the Image Entertainment DVD (As You Like it), which has got good reviews on Amazon. I'll update this review after comparing the two."