Shakespeare Films

A Re-evaluation of 100 Years of Adaptations


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About the Book

This study reexamines the recognized “canon” of films based on Shakespeare’s plays, and argues that it should be broadened by breaking with two unnecessary standards: the characterization of the director as “auteur” of a play’s screen adaptation, and the convention of excluding films with contemporary language or modern or alternative settings or which use the play as a subtext. The emphasis is shifted from the director’s contribution to the film’s social, cultural and historical contexts. The work of the auteurs is reevaluated within present-day contexts, preserving the established canon while proposing new criteria for inclusion.

About the Author(s)

Peter E.S. Babiak has taught composition, drama, film studies and literature at several institutions in Southern Ontario, Canada. He has contributed chapters to scholarly books, published several articles in CineAction Magazine, and been a regular presenter at the Annual Conference of the U.S. Popular Culture Association since 2004. He lives in Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Peter E.S. Babiak
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6254-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2352-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 5

1. Silent Shakespeare 25

2. The Classical Hollywood Period to World War II 39

3. Olivier and Welles 56

4. Kurosawa 69

5. Kozintsev 84

6. Zeffirelli 99

7. Kott, Brook, Richardson and Polanski 114

8. The 1970s and 1980s 124

9. Branagh 136

10. Millennial Shakespeare 151

Conclusion 166

Chapter Notes 181

Works Cited 186

Index 198