A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968)

A Midsummer Night's Dream





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

British director Peter Hall's 1968 filmization of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, starring the Royal Shakespeare Company, is faithful to the text and to the main plot, which involves the "bewitching" of several groups of mortals by a covey of mischievous invisible fairies. So why did critics complain? Hall's handling of Shakespeare's prose and iambic pentameter didn't bother the purists as much as the director's visual choices. Hall was criticized for staging the film in a typically rainy British winter rather than the mid-Summer alluded to in the play's title. The director responded by pointing out that the fairies, led by Oberon and Titania, were deliberately toying with the expectations and sensibilities of the Mortals -- thus, it made sense to confuse the "human" characters by playing havoc with the weather. Other stylistic alterations included updating the story to the 19th century, and the near-nudity of Judi Dench as Titania. Most of the film is shot in close-up (most effectively during the soliloquies of Diana Rigg, as Helena), not so much to hide budgetary deficiencies as to play better on television. Also featuring Ian Holm (as Puck) Barbara Jefford, Helen Mirren, Michael Jayston, Paul Rogers, Ian Richardson and David Warner, this Midsummer Night's Dream premiered in the U.S. on the CBS TV network on Sunday evening, February 9, 1969. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Romance, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: William Shakespeare
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 10, 2005


Barbara Jefford
as Hippolyta
Hugh Sullivan
as Philostrate
David Warner
as Lysander
Michael Jayston
as Demetrius
Diana Rigg
as Helena
Judi Dench
as Titania
Donald Eccles
as Starveling
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Midsummer Night's Dream

Critic Reviews for A Midsummer Night's Dream

All Critics (2)

The ultimate in respectfully radical Shakespeare adaptations -- it presents the story in purely 1960s terms; respectful in that it includes nearly all of Shakespeare's text.

Full Review… | May 23, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A dream cast makes this worth pursuing.

Full Review… | March 23, 2005
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for A Midsummer Night's Dream


Rigg, Mirren and Dench are all fine, the extra half star is for them, Holm and Warner are okay but everyone else is stiff and lifeless and the film quality is terrible.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

I saw it in high school. Bored me to tears. Older productions, even with a cast like this, usually fall flat because they get the wrong person to direct.


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