The Bards’ plays have been adapted to the big screen by numerous directors over the years, creating a whole Shakespeare movie genre. Shakespeare movie adaptations are big business – at last count, over 420 feature-length Shakespeare movies versions of Shakespeare’s plays have been filmed. This makes Shakespeare the most filmed author ever – in any language!
Here we take a look at some of the classic Shakespeare movie adaptations – from Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V to Roman Polanski’s classic Macbeth, plus a number of films about the life of William Shakespeare himself.
Romeo and Juliet movies
Romeo and Juliet is arguably the most classic romance story of all time, so it’s little wonder that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet play has been reproduced on the silver screen so many times. The most popular adaptations of the star crossed lovers on the silver screen are without a doubt:
Research the best Macbeth movies – Polanskis’ and Nunn’s classic
Movies about Shakespeare
All Is True, 2019
Written by Ben Elton and directed by Kenneth Branagh, the action begins in 1613 when Shakespeare decides to return home to his family in Stratford upon Avon after the Globe Theatre in London is burned to the ground.
A family-friendly comic caper concentrating on Shakespeare’s ‘lost years’ (leaving plenty of room for hypothesis/supposition/fiction) from the creators for Horrible Histories.
A controvesial take on Shakepeare’s works, focussing on the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet and patron of the arts.
Shakespeare in Love, 1998
This period rom-com shows a – presumably ficitonal – romance between William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) at the time Shakespeare is writing Romeo and Juliet.
Other Notable Shakespeare Plays On Film
The Hollow Crown 2012, BBC
The Hollow Crown 2016, BBC
Much Ado About Nothing 1993, Kenneth Branagh
Much Ado About Nothing 2012, Joss Whedon
Hamlet 1996, Kenneth Branagh
The Merchant of Venice 2004, Michael Radford
The Merchant of Venice 1980, Jack Gold
For more info and insight on Shakespeare films, check out bardolatry.com – a rather excellent website devoted to reviews of all things Shakespeare movie-related.
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