A Duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his entourage into the forest of Arden. The banished Duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen ...
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After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
A Duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his entourage into the forest of Arden. The banished Duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen in love with Orlando, but he has his own tyrannical brother with whom to contend, so he joins those in the forest. Rosalind, now banished, disguises herself as a young man, with Celia as her servant, and follows Orlando into the forest. There, nature stirs love's fires in various rustics as well as in those from the court. Phebe, a shepherdess loved by Silvius, is smitten with the disguised Rosalind. Can true love find a way, and can brothers be reconciled and harmony restored?Written by
The first performance in New York City was in 1786, and it has been revived on Broadway twenty-one times since, the last in 1986. See more »
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, and then from hour to hour, we rot and rot; and thereby hangs a tale.
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Different prints have conflicting credits. For the 1936 U.S. version, Robert Cullen is credited (as R.J. Cullen) for production manager and scenario, but for the 1949 re-release, he is credited only as production manager, and 'Carl Mayer' is credited with adaptation. Similarly, for the 1936 version, Elisabeth Bergner's name is above the title for the opening credits, but in the 1949 re-release Laurence Olivier's name is above the title (as can be seen from the IMDb poster). See more »
Unfortunately, Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' has much of its comic aspects drained in this particular film version of the play, because of the sodden performances of a couple of players, Mackenzie Ward as Touchstone and Elizabeth Bergner as Rosalind.
The part of the Fool was an important part of Shakespearean plays, delivering pointed messages in the guise of witty remarks and jests. In this film, Touchstone's lines are breezed through so quickly and leadenly that the messages are lost. Bergner's Rosalind, was far worse. Rosalind was supposed to be disguised as a youthful man delivering acquired wisdom to men. I would have expected mainly a mock-serious performance, at most. Instead, Bergner performs Rosalind in a kind of giddy glee throughout, which must have marred her delivery of lines through that toothy grin combined with her Austrian accent.
Laurence Olivier, while performing in the more naturalistic way we would expect of a modern film actor, seems at times as if he's trying to get over with the whole thing, as might be expected if the rumors of artistic conflicts are true.
Sophie Stewart as Celia delivers probably the truest performance. Henry Ainley, Felix Aylmer, Leon Quartermain, and Dorice Fordred give nice performances as the two dukes, Jacques, and Audrey in minor parts. Peter Bull (the Russian ambassador from 'Dr. Strangelove') makes a very recognizable appearance in the second half.
I feel I ought to comment on the many complaints about the 'staginess' of the diction. My opinion is that these complaints have mainly to do with a couple of minor characters (e.g., Charles the Wrestler). Keep in mind that this is 1936, when many stage and silent actors were still adapting to the motion picture. Many films based on stage plays at that time appeared stagy, and many did even later (consider 'A Long Day's Journey Into Night' or 'A Streetcar Named Desire'). Few of Shakespeare's plays had been adapted to the sound motion picture by 1936. Cut them a little slack!
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