British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

As You Like It

Synopsis
Feature film. Great Britain’s first feature-length Shakespeare sound film and Laurence Olivier’s first screen performance in a Shakespeare play. An energetic production set in an elaborate studio forest with real livestock. The film’s scenarist, J.M. Barrie, informed Elisabeth Bergner’s overly studied, acrobatic and Peter Pan-inspired Rosalind.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Sound
Year of release
1936
Duration
95 minutes; 3,419 (16mm) feet

Credits

Director
Paul Czinner
Cinematographer
Harold Rosson; Jack Cardiff
Writer
J.M. Barrie; William Shakespeare
Music
William Walton
Costume
Joe Strassner; John Armstrong (2)
Cast
Elizabeth BergnerRosalind
Sophie StewartCelia
Laurence OlivierOrlando
Mackenzie WardTouchstone
Leon QuartermaineJaques
Aubrey MatherCorin
Austin TrevorLe Beau
Dorice FordredAudrey
Felix AylmerDuke Frederick
Henry AinleyDuke Senior
J. Fisher WhiteAdam
Joan WhitePhebe
John LaurieOliver
Lionel BrahamCharles
Peter BullWilliam
Richard AinleySilvius

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
As You Like It
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
First Television Broadcast: Demonstration at Radio Show

Notes

Notes
DVD released for sale in the UK in 2007. Different prints show different credits. In the 1936 US version Robert Cullen (as R.J. Cullen) is credited as production manager and scenarist. In the 1949 re-release he is credited only as production manager and Carl Mayer with the adaptation. Similarly for the 1936 version, Elisabeth Bergner’s name is above the title for the opening credits; in the 1949 re-release Laurence Olivier’s name is above the title.

The BFI National Archive, London holds a 35mm master and viewing print.

The Birmingham Shakespeare Library holds a typescript.

Budget $1m
General
Excerpts of this production were shown as part of the first British TV broadcast demonstration in London on 26th August 1936.

David Lean is editor on the film and Ninette de Valois (uncredited) is the choreographer.
Reviews
"Bergner is playing the wrong role, in the wrong language, in the wrong medium" - Anderegg, Michael, Cinematic Shakespeare (Landham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

Jackson, Russell, ‘Remembering Bergner’s Rosalind: As You Like It on film in 1936’ in Holland, Peter (ed.), Shakespeare, Memory and Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 237-255.

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Folger Shakespeare Library

Email
reference@folger.edu
Web
http://www.folger.edu External site opens in new window
Phone
(202) 544 4600
Fax
(202) 544 4623
Address
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington
DC 20003
USA

Distributor

Name

Simply Media

Contact
Laura Smith
Email
info@simplymedia.tv
Web
http://www.simplymedia.tv/ External site opens in new window
Phone
0203 542 3722
Address
Highlight House
57 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SJ
Notes
Formerly known as DD Home Entertainment or DDHE

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

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