Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources

Home

All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
Julius Caesar
King John
King Lear
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Macbeth
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Othello
Pericles
Richard II
Richard III
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeareana

Available versions

1909: Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton

1935: William Dieterle, Max Reinhardt

1968: Peter Hall

1981: Elijah Moshinsky

1982: Joseph Papp, Emile Ardolino

1996: Adrian Noble

1999: Michael Hoffman

2010: Bo Bergstrom

2014: Dominic Dromgoole

2014: Julie Taymor


Adaptations

1992: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Animated)

2005: ShakespeaRe-Told: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Related

2015: Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2, Episode 4


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
1909: Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton

Running a total of about twelve minutes, this is an early silent foray into filming Shakespeare.

The end product is about what one might expect — there are of course no words, and so none of Shakespeare’s lyrical lines. The outlines of each of the several scenes is presented on a card before the scene, which is then mimed with extravagant gestures.

Bottom is a long-limbed gangly fellow, whose insufferable mugging for the show is the apparent source of comedy, though it’s rather steeply over-played.

The fairies represent a peculiar departure from the norm. Perhaps the Titania/Oberon clash was deemed too risqué for the standards of the period: the net result is that the part of Titania is taken over by one Penelope (otherwise unaccounted for), and it is their quarrel (which is stipulated, but never described) that brings about Bottom’s transformation into a donkey, and the ensuing (very tame) amorous encounter with Titania.

As currently available on DVD, this is part of the valuable Silent Shakespeare collection; the pieces are presented in reasonably clean format (especially for film so old); some of them are hand-tinted, but most are black and white. The overlaid musical sound-track, using piano and cello, verges on the tedious and depressing after six minutes, but one is under no obligation to keep the sound turned up.


Bottom: William V. Ranous

Demetrius: Walter Ackerman

Fairy: Dolores Costello

Fairy: Helene Costello

Helena: Julia Swayne Gordon

Hermia: Rose Tapley

Hippolyta: Elita Proctor Otis

Lysander: Maurice Costello

Mechanical: William Shea

Penelope: Clara Kimball Young

Puck: Gladys Hulette

Quince: Charles Chapman

Titania: Florence Turner