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King Lear (Thames Shakespeare Collection)
King Lear
Thames Shakespeare Collection
Actors: Ann Lynn, Patrick Mower, Philip Brack, Beth Harris, Patrick Magee
Director: Tony Davenall
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
NR     2005     1hr 50min

When England's aging King Lear renounces his throne to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, treachery, madness and murder soon follow. After banishing Cordelia, his most loyal daughter, Lear is betrayed and cast o...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Ann Lynn, Patrick Mower, Philip Brack, Beth Harris, Patrick Magee
Director: Tony Davenall
Creators: Tony Davenall, Charles Warren, William Shakespeare
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life, Television
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/31/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Really 3.5 stars
Dennis L. Hughes | Austin, TX USA | 06/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"3 stars to me means "If you like this sort of thing, you'll like this one".

It fails to get 5 stars for the following reasons:

- As Patrick Mower (Edmund) notes in the included interview, Patrick Magee's (Lear) performance is "strange" (but not really bad)
- No subtitles (These help me to follow Shakespearian language)
- The important and interesting role of Fool is underrepresented and not played well

The positives:
- Mower is pretty good as Edmund
- Ronald Radd is really good as Gloucester
- The interview with Mower is interesting for insights into the process of creating this production and the actors involved
- As Mower notes in that interview, this is a "clear reading"; It is pretty easy to understand what the characters are saying even if you don't speak Shakespearian English every day
- I was truly moved by Lear, Gloucester, and Edmund at some points

Terrible version
A. Bruno | 04/02/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The production of the play was terrible. The acting was even worse. I was going to show it to my students, but I can't show them that performance. It was pathetic. Also, there is no closed captioning. If you were thinking about getting this version, I highly recommend that you think again."
More Fun to Read It
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 03/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The only first rate thing about this production is the diction. It's really possible to understand most of the words most of the time. That is achieved, unfortunately, by fairly deep cuts in the text which needs to be spoken.

The worst thing about it is the wretched portrayal of the Fool, whose lines are the most severely cut. Without his empathy for the Fool, the King seems merely a pathetic, vainglorious old fool himself.

I have loved this play ever since I read it in junior high school, and I've never seen a production that satisfied me. I suppose I'm a tough audience. This film had one good result; it sent me back to the text to see what the director and actors had missed."