Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Shakespeare Adaptations


I so miss making cards! I actually did make one and almost finished another before....yawn....you know but I'm feeling better. Now on to this week's movie picks and it's all about Shakespeare! I actually saw A Midsummer Night's Dream as a ballet in the Vienna Opera house and it sounds magical doesn't it? The Opera House is beautiful and I loved Mendelssohn's music but when they went to the Fairy realm, the place I was so excited to see from the music to the costumes, some German...oops Austrian, took drugs, had a chimp play the piano and I watched people in skin tight condom costumes with sequinned shower caps on their heads dance like Andy Warhol was their God. Ughhh ....ok so below are my picks and to see the others, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen.

1.  FORBIDDEN PLANET-1956


Love this movie! It is based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest"  and it is the father of Star Trek and many of the other science fiction films to follow. A young Leslie Nielsen is the captain of a ship that lands on a planet to find out why the communication with the scientists have ceased. They meet Robbie The Robot along with Morbius and his very attractive and mini dress clad daughter who has never met another human except for her dad. They are able to live on this planet due to the very technically advanced Krell( no..they are not shrimp people) who have long since past their mortal coil. The Captain and the young gal start showing signs of amour which is around the time an invisible monster starts killing the crew. They now have a much bigger issues to deal with...survival! Excellent film that started so many science fiction shows and films. It really does make you think.

2. THEATRE OF BLOOD-1973


OOOHHHHHHH-Love this movie!! You have the great Vincent Price playing a Shakespearean actor who is critically degraded at an awards ceremony. He tries to commit suicide by throwing himself into the Thames, so everyone thinks he has died, but he is taken in by vagrants where the great actor plots his revenge on the critics who degraded him. The critics start dying one by one in very unique ways...all killed according to a Shakespeare play. I used to watch this film when I was a teen at 4 in the morning since I couldn't sleep back then. It is grisly in parts(pound of flesh anyone?) but it is also quite humourous. Price always wanted to act in a Shakespeare play so this film was close to his heart.  I found out many years later that this is one of my brother's favourites as well.

3. RICHARD III-1995


Ian McKellan plays Richard the III in this more modern updating of the Shakespeare play. It is set during the 1930's with England being fascist and Nazism almost taking hold. It is all about power and corruption but in a very modern style retelling bringing the Nazi ideas to the foreground. It is an excellent take on this play especially when Richard  the III tries to start his jeep and yells the famous line, "My Kingdom for a horse." Well worth watching and the acting is excellent

I feel guilty because I did not choose a Sir Laurence Olivier film rendition (He is a noted Shakespearean actor making the plays popular for films) but I had to go with these 3.

What would you choose?

46 comments:

  1. I've not read a lot of Shakespeare. I did enjoy the movie adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. However, my pick - Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Hamlet. Classic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read most of SHakespeare when I was in school:) I have to look up the mystery science theatre version

      Delete
  2. Great choices. I especially liked Richard III. It shows how Shakespeares themes are timeless.
    That's Purrfect

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are so right and I learned this from visiting others today

      Delete
  3. The only 'C' I received in college was for a Shakespeare class. What a slog. Did not know that Forbidden Planet was based on 'The Tempest'. I have not seen the other two. I did go to Stratford, Ontario back in 2004 for the festival. I remember seeing a modern adaptation of ???? Well, I don't really know, LOL. I recently tried to watch the BBC recent productions of his plays on the English Kings, but only made it through two. The others are sitting on the DVD queue. Yawn....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaaaa you made me laugh. I tried watching Hamlet with Patrick Stewart in it and the one guy who played Dr. who....I felll asleep

      Delete
  4. Forbidden Planet has such a stylized look and is fun in that 50's sci-fi way. It's also got that unusual cast blend with at the time up and comers Nielsen and Anne Francis next to old hand Pidgeon.

    You can really tell that Vincent Price is having a ball in Theatre of Blood and he carries the audience right along with him.

    I really admired the acting and ambitions of Richard III but I didn't love the film. It felt poorly paced in parts to me. Still a good film.

    I went with one straight adaptation and a couple of twist of Will's work this week.

    Hamlet (1996)-Kenneth Branagh adapted, directed and stars as the tortured Dane supported by a cast that is drawn from the cream of the British acting world with a few choice American stars pulled in for good measure. What makes this version stand out from the myriad others is Branagh’s decision to pull the play out of the dingy and poorly lit 14th century to the lush baroque 19th, resulting in deserved nominations for Art & Costume design, making it a far more vivid experience. That’s a great help since he has also chosen to present the entirety of the play’s nearly four hour run time. In a cast that includes Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Robin Williams, Gerard Depardieu and Judi Dench among so many others it’s difficult to choose any MVP’s aside from Branagh but Kate Winslet as Ophelia and Rufus Sewell as Fortinbras, the crown prince of Norway are memorable. It’s a challenging view but worthwhile.

    Joe MacBeth (1955)-Updating the Scottish play to the criminal underworld of 1930’s America this violent take on the tale (it begins with the title character blowing away a crime boss then going directly to his own wedding) is an inventive twist on the material. Excellent work by Paul Douglas and Ruth Roman as the murderous mobster and his rapacious Lady M hold you rapt as the homicidal pair climb the ladder of success over an ever increasing pile of bodies.

    Kiss Me Kate (1953)-The Taming of the Shrew moved into the world of the modern theatre and musicalized by Cole Porter. Famous stage star Fred Graham (Howard Keel) tries to dissuade his equally famous ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (Kathryn Grayson) to postpone her upcoming marriage so she can co-star with him in a musical updating of The Taming of the Shrew. She agrees reluctantly since their relationship post-divorce is as combative as their married life so it’s not smooth going. Add in several flies in the ointment including second lead Lois Lane(!) (Ann Miller) and some mobsters who are mistakenly putting the squeeze on Frank for a debt Lois’s boyfriend owes and it’s a wacky time backstage. Onstage though there are some amazing dance numbers performed by four of the best dancers of the 50’s (Miller, Carol Haney, Bob Fosse and Bobby Van) and great music sung by all including “It’s Too Darn Hot!” and “From This Moment On”. One of the great musicals, originally shown in 3-D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like Forbidden Planet and tht you have seen Theatre of Blood:) Price really did love making this picture. I'm so glad you chose Kiss Me Kate which I love but need to see it again since it has been so long. I really want to see Joe MacBeth..never heard of it but sounds like a great hidden gem. I still have to see Kenneth Branagh's version and know he was stellar in it.

      Delete
  5. That sounds like quite the umm experience you had haha I'm sure I've seen a few, but now I tend to roll my eyes as his works are something else that have been done to death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was not fun because you would get into the nice music and the. It would change to some freak music and these people would dance around and Titania and Oberon had sequinned bathing caps on...blecchhhh

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen any of these picks. I don't think I ever realized that Forbidden Planet was based off of Shakespeare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is and it's fun but I think you would get a kick out of Theatre of Blood

      Delete
  7. Hi, Birgit!

    I have seen two of these three films, and I'll bet you can guess which ones - the two in the sci-fi and horror categories. :) I can't say enough positive things about Forbidden Planet. I first saw it at age 6 and I have watched it several more times over the years. The movie was light years ahead of its time. It's fun to see Leslie Nielsen playing it straight in the years before he became known for his comedic roles. His attraction to and interaction with Ann Francis' character reminds me of the movie I recently featured on SDMM - Queen of Outer Space. Both flicks invite male viewers to imagine themselves on a planet where women are not only beautiful but "lonely." :) Walter Pidgeon had another great role as Morbius and Robbie the Robot was the inspiration behind the robot on Lost In Space, the TV series that made its debut a decade later.

    Vincent Price is my favorite horror actor and I have seen just about every one of his pictures including Edward Scissorhands which was partly filmed in the Florida city where I was living at the time.

    Thanks, dear friend BB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was hoping you had seen Theatre of Blood which is just a great Vincent Price film. I'm glad you like Forbidden Planet also. Robbie guest starred on Lost In Space!

      Delete
  8. I haven't seen any of these but I've been meaning to watch Richard III for ages! Ian McKellen is such a great actor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this version and thought it quite inventive. Hope you see it.

      Delete
  9. That ballet sounds horrifying. And you describe it so well.

    I really liked that Richard III adaptation. I don't know if I saw the whole thing, but I liked how they set it non-traditionally.

    When I saw the topic, I thought of the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. Which was based on Taming of the Shrew, I believe. My brother's friend's band appeared in it briefly, so it holds a special place in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's cool that your brother's band was in 10 Things which was popular today and I have seen it. It's a good movie which I enjoyed and first brought Heath Ledger to my attention.

      Delete
  10. Nielsen in other than a comedy.....it just doesn't feel right:)
    Have a great one, Birgit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup...it is weird. You should see him in the Barbra Streisand film Nuts

      Delete
  11. Yes. That Price movie seems like a lot of fun.

    West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. West Side Story is popular today too and it's great. Theatre of Blood is great!!

      Delete
  12. Oh no! That performance in Austria must have been a terrible letdown! You told that story with a great sense of humour, though. I've seen West Side Story and Theatre of Blood, both great. My pick would be "Kiss Me Kate" (1953), but I also enjoyed the actual "Taming of the Shrew" (1967), starring Taylor and Burton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that was a let down since I was so looking forward to the costumes this f the elves and fairies and I got condom costumes. I'm glad you saw Theatre of Blood. I love Kiss Me Kate especially the dancing. I still have to see the Burton/Taylor film which I heard is excellent

      Delete
  13. BIRGIT ~
    My very favorite adaptation of a Shakespeare play was not actually a movie but an episode of the TV series 'MOONLIGHTING'.

    That's still one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and their twisted version of 'THE TAMING OF THE SHREW' (Season 3) was easily, hands-down, the best that Shakespeare ever seemed to me. If you polled 1,000 hardcore 'Moonlighting' fans, asking them to name their favorite episode, I'd bet that (Link:] "ATOMIC SHAKESPEARE" would win by a large margin.

    It had all the zany stuffs you'd expect from 'Moonlighting', with all kinds of anachronisms, references to earlier episodes, and of course their famous "Breaking Of The 4th Wall". Wow! It was hilarious. And Bruce Willis even got to sing the song GOOD LOVIN' in that episode. Ha! Yeah, The Rascals' hit song GOOD LOVIN' in a Shakespeare play! How can you beat that?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always watched Moonlighting and thought it was quite inventive because it brought back the sc we all r,antic comedies with intelligence and humour. When I get a chance I will check this out

      Delete
  14. I know that Forbidden Planet was expressly an adaptation of The Tempest, but I've never really seen it outside of the barest semblance of the plot. I do enjoy it very much, though! Robbie the Robot FTW!

    I can't believe I've never seen Theatre of Blood - it sounds AMAZING!

    McKellen is such a tremendous Richard III. The movie is pretty good, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! You have not seen Theatre of Blood?? You must see it because you will love it or I will et my hat!

      Delete
  15. Sorry, but haven't seen any of this week's picks. I like McKellen in most things I've seen him do, but probably would pass on the first 2. Hope you're feeling well and ready for a good weekend. Hugs & TFS (I've found 2 old Brit crime series on Acorn that I'm enjoying: Taggart & Rebus).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes....you should see Kiss Me Kate which is a great musical based on Taming of the Shrew

      Delete
  16. Hard to imagine Richard III in that timeline

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is u til you start watching it....very well done

      Delete
  17. I love Forbidden Planet, and I would also list West Side Story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. West Side Story was popular today...excellent film even though the tough gang members start dancing and pointing their toes at the beginning

      Delete
  18. I like the Baz Luhrman Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Over 20 years ago, unbelievable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have t seen this at all because I was so over with Leo afte Titanic. Maybe one day I will give this a try

      Delete
  19. I had to stop by and see what was being featured this week and which movies you chose. I confess, I apparently am not much of a movie watcher, because I have never heard of any of these movies, although I HAVE heard of Richard III, although not from the 1930s.

    You apparently liked all of these, and I appreciate the synopses. Hope you get to feeling better, soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Richard the III film was done in 1995 but takes place when all hell was about to take place. It was really inventive and unique. Thank you...I am feeling better:)

      Delete
  20. I've seen Forbidden Planet..but a while ago now. Did enjoy it overall. I like the sound of your last pick, the setting they choose for the film sounds inspired. Might check that out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard the III is very unique and so well acted. I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. I hope you see it

      Delete
  21. Birgit, all of these picks are new to me but I loved Vincent Price as a kid and you totally have me interested in checking out Theater of Blood". :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Really appreciate the fact you went with some atypical adaptations. Haven't seen any of them, but you've made me want ot.

    ReplyDelete
  23. re Theater of Blood.....Killing off the critics...Gotta love it:)
    YOU have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The ballet you saw sounds quite artsy-fartsy. Just give me A Midsummer's Night Dream as is. I thought "Start the Revolution without me" was loosely based on a Shakespeare play because of the 2 sets of twins. Don't know which though. I like 10 Things I hate About, an adaption of Taming of the Shrew, which is one of my favorite plays. Hope you're feeling better today, Birgit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I never knew where that famous line came from. I love it. Next time I have problems starting my car, I'm gonna roll down the window and shout, "My kingdom for a horse." Smiles.

    Hugs, Birgit.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Every one of these is new to me. I have seen some adaptations of Shakespeare- but nothing recently. I have been very into words and phrase that we use today that come from Will- so I will have to check out these movies. :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete