Dvenadtsataya noch (Twelfth Night) (1956)




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Twelfth Night is a Russian adaptation of Shakespeare's confused-identity comedy. Since the story, about a young girl (Klara Luchko) disguised as a boy in order to facilitate her search for her twin brother, is set in the mythical land of Illyria, most stagings of the play avoid the Elizabethan trappings of Shakespeare's time. Conversely, this Twelfth Night is firmly planted in the 16th century, and thus looks as though it was staged by librarians rather than filmmakers. Director Yakov Fried has severely cut the original text, with the pompous Malvolio, usually a "star turn," ending up a virtual walk-on. The best aspect of Twelfth Night is its extensive use of exteriors, breathing occasional life into an other stagebound effort. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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