Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources


All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
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
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
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

Available versions

1960: George Schaefer

1979: Derek Jarman

1980: John Gorrie

1982: Herb Roland

1983: William Woodman

2011: Julie Taymor

2012: Des McAnuff

2013: Jeremy Herrin


1956: Forbidden Planet

1982: Tempest

1998: The Tempest

1991: Prospero’s Books

1992: Stanislav Sokolov, Dave Edwards (animated)


2013: Shakespeare Uncovered (Season 1, Ep. 4)

The Tempest
1960: George Schaefer

This made-for-television version of The Tempest was apparently a special project for Richard Burton, then at the peak of his career; he brought his extraordinary dramatic sensibilities and (above all) his magical voice to the role of Caliban, one of Shakespeare’s most gorgeously written parts. In his mouth, the music of the monster’s remarkable lines achieves as much as it does anywhere. The production would be worth seeing if only for that. In addition, Lee Remick plays a transcendently appealing Miranda, and Maurice Evans a commanding and august Prospero, who is (as always) the anchor of any production. Roddy McDowall plays Ariel with a somewhat androgynous ambiguity that is somewhat disturbing but perhaps not out of line with Shakespeare’s intentions.

The disadvantages of the performance are equally significant, however. First of all (and most tellingly), it is cut brutally — down to a barely comprehensible 76 minutes. Most of the nuances of the story, and even more of the internal verbal echoes, are swept aside and lost. In addition, the production design looks lamentably dated. The sets are weirdly abstract without the advantage (possible in some highly abstract stagings) of becoming universal; costuming is fantastically overdone in a 1960s effusion of primary colors and what appears to be plastic.

What remains is a triumph of lyricism fused with a riot of color and lucite; one can bathe in the language of the production, but the viewer who comes to it without knowing the play ahead of time is likely to go away with at best a foggy impression of the story line and its inner dialogue of art and power.

Ariel: Roddy McDowall

Caliban: Richard Burton

Ferdinand : William Bassett

Gonzalo: Liam Redmond

Miranda: Lee Remick

Prospero: Maurice Evans

Sebastian: Paul Ballantyne

Stephano: Ronald Radd

Trinculo: Tom Poston