British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Midsummer Night’s Dream, A

Synopsis
Feature film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Eliminating cinematic narrative and theatrical staging the film was harshly treated by the critics.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1968
Duration
124 mins; 11,160 feet

Credits

Director
Peter Hall
Producer
Michael Birkett
Cinematographer
Peter Suschitzy
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Guy Woolfenden
Costume
Ann Curtis
Art Direction
John Bury
Cast
Derek GodfreyTheseus
Barbara JeffordHippolyta
Ian RichardsonOberon
Judi DenchTitania
Ian HolmPuck (Robin Goodfellow)
Bill TraversTom Snout
Clive SwiftSnug
David WarnerLysander
Diana RiggHelena
Donald EcclesRobin Starveling
Helen MirrenHermia
Hugh SullivanPhilostrate
John NormingtonFrancis Flute
Michael JaystonDemetrius
Nicholas SelbyEgeus
Paul RogersNick Bottom
Sebastian ShawPeter Quince

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
19th Century
Plays
Love’s Labour’s Lost; Midsummer Night’s Dream, A
Subjects
Drama; Shakespeare
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

General
Peter Hall in an interview with Roger Manvell Shakespeare and the Film (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1971, repr. with additions 1979) states ‘I made the Dream in close shot not because of lack of money, or because it was likely to be shown on television. I wanted it close shot because this seems to me the only way to scrutinise coolly the marked ambiguity of the text, and the cinema can do this better than the theatre’.

Filmed at Compton Verney.
History
The film went straight to television in the US (CBS, February 1969) and did not receive a general release. It was shown in primetime and commanded c25 million viewers. The Paley Centre for Media holds a copy of this broadcast (9 February 1969).
Reviews
Reviewed by Brenda Davies in Sight and Sound, March 1969 p.51 "...the result is ugly, charmless and almost devoid of either enchantment or humour". "Hall delivered perhaps the only.Shakespearean movie that would be more enjoyable if you watched it with your eyes shut" (Daniel Rosenthal, Shakespeare on Screen: London, Hamlyn, 2000).

Production Company

Name

Filmways (UK)

Name

Royal Shakespeare Company

Web
https://www.rsc.org.uk External site opens in new window

Archive

Name

Paley Center for Media

Web
http://www.paleycenter.org/ External site opens in new window
Phone
(212) 621-6600
Address
25 West 52 Street
New York
New York
110019
USA
Notes
Formerly Museum of Television and Radio (MTR). The name changed in 2007.

Distributor (Hire)

Name

BFI Film Bookings Unit

Email
bookings.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/help-faq/film-bookings External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7957 8938 / 8935
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Screen Archives Entertainment

Email
info@screenarchives.com
Web
http://www.screenarchives.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 540 635 2575
Fax
+1 540 635 1154
Address
P.O. Box 550
Linden, VA 22642-0550
USA

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.com

Web
http://www.amazon.com External site opens in new window

Record Stats

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