Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources

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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

1929: Sam Taylor

1967: Franco Zeffirelli

1976: Kirk Browning

1980: Jonathan Miller

1982: Peter Dews

1983: Peter Dews/John Allison

1988: Richard Monette

2013: Toby Frow


Adaptations

1953: Kiss Me, Kate

1958: Kiss Me, Kate

1994: Aida Zyablikova (animated)

1999: 10 Things I Hate About You

2003: Kiss Me, Kate

2005: ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew


Related

2015: Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2, Episode 1


The Taming of the Shrew
1967: Franco Zeffirelli

At the height (or depth) of one of Elizabeth Taylor’s brief and stormy marriages to Richard Burton came this tumultuous but exceedingly robust — even athletic — performance of The Taming of the Shrew. Hollywood pundits were quick to point out how the play did (or did not) reflect the fortunes of their troubled household, and one gets the impression that this celebrity exploitation was a large part of why the film was made in the first place.

Gossip-mongering aside, however, the play is a mix of good and bad. Taylor and Burton are not really well-matched: Burton was a stage-trained Shakespearean of enormous range, while Taylor was a film actress of fairly limited capacities. Burton’s diction is superb; Taylor’s is adequate at best, and marked with the flabbiness that often (but need not) attend American vowel pronunciation. But the volatility of the personalities and Zeffirelli’s imaginative direction impart to this a rather giddy energy that makes up for a great deal, and provides a very congenial introduction to Shakespeare for those who have not seen his plays on stage or film before.

The humor is largely physical, and of a slapstick sort; this does not depend especially on the disparity of diction in the principal actors. As always, Zeffirelli manages to bring interesting secondary characters into his production: Michael Hordern is the quintessential old man, out of his depth and a bit intimidated by his two daughters. Michael York makes an appearance — not the last he would do for Zeffirelli (he went on to do Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and a remarkably convincing John the Baptist in Jesus of Nazareth.)


Baptista: Michael Hordern

Bianca: Natasha Pyne

Biondello: Roy Holder

Bit Part : Liana Del Balzo

Curtis : Gianni Magni

Gregory : Lino Capolicchio

Gremio: Alan Webb

Grumio: Cyril Cusack

Haberdasher: Anthony Gardner

Hortensio: Victor Spinetti

Katharina: Elizabeth Taylor

Lucentio: Michael York

Nathaniel: Alberto Bonucci

Pedant: Vernon Dobtcheff

Petruchio: Richard Burton

Tailor: Ken Parry

The Priest: Giancarlo Cobelli

The Widow: Bice Valori

Tranio: Alfred Lynch

Vincentio: Mark Dignam