7 Wonderful Shakespeare Movies ...


Even now, hundreds of years after his death, Shakespeare is hailed as one of the greatest writers ever. Why, you might ask? What’s all the fuss, when I can barely understand what he’s written, with all that outdated language? It’s my argument that Shakespeare never meant for his plays to be read, but rather for people to see them performed, which is why there have been so many marvelous films based on Shakespeare’s works. Not sure what I mean? Keep reading… here are 7 wonderful Shakespeare movies!

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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead Price: $12.49 at amazon.com
These two were Hamlet’s hapless frenemies in the classic Shakespeare play, but this take is a bit unusual, being told from their clueless perspective. Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are brilliant in the title roles, and though we all know what happens to them in the end, the fun, of course, is getting them there.


Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet Price: $11.99 at amazon.com
I love this movie if for no other reason than the soundtrack, and for the opportunity to ogle a young Leonardo DiCaprio before he got chubby. It’s also a treat to see Pete Postlethwaite in this film, and though it’s a little quick-edit for me, it’s a fairly true rendition of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.


Much Ado about Nothing

Much Ado about Nothing Price: $7.89 at amazon.com
Though this movie does have some darker undertones, it’s mostly a sunny, brilliant tale about two people who loathe each other, but also love each other. Who can’t relate! Emma Thompson is brilliant, as is of course Kenneth Branagh, and the entire cast is quite good, including Denzel Washington (he’s perfect in this movie) and Keanu Reeves (who is flat, but still comely).


The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew Price: $7.99 at amazon.com
This is my own absolutely favorite Shakespeare film, starring a gorgeous and wickedly funny Elizabeth Taylor as The Shrew. Before her younger sister can marry, she must wed, but who will have her? She’s wild, willful, and cruel… and though you already know she ends up, well, tamed, it’s a lot of fun to watch her opposite her real-life husband, Richard Burton, as they fight, carouse, and eventually fall in love.



Hamlet Price: $34.99 at amazon.com
I’m quite certain there are those out there that vastly prefer the Mel Gibson or Kenneth Branagh versions, but I like this one, set in modern times, with Ethan Hawke in the title role and Julia Stiles as Ophelia. The best performance in the movie is Bill Murray as Polonius… he’s amazing, adding a depth to the slightly ridiculous, overbearing councilor and father. Oh, and Liev Schreiber… yum!


10 Things I Hate about You

10 Things I Hate about You Price: $10.99 at amazon.com
Based on Shakespeare’s marvelous “The Taming of the Shrew,” this film stars Julia Stiles as Kat and a young and yummy Heath Ledger as Pat. The plot generally follows the original, but it’s updated and refreshing without losing its grip on those loyal to Shakespeare. I love the twist that Cameron is actually something of a twit…


Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love Price: $11.49 at amazon.com
Whether you believe the real-life Shakespeare had a secret paramour or muse to inspire him, you’ll love this movie about the writing of “Romeo and Juliet,” which, apparently, began as a comedy. It’s a sweet story, emotionally involving and very well cast. I’m not alone in my praise of the movie, either: it won an Oscar for Best Picture.

These are just a few of the (literally) hundreds of movies out there based either fully or at least partially on one of Shakespeare’s many brilliant plays. I especially adore Julia Stiles as Ophelia in “Hamlet” and as Kat Stratford in “10 Things.” Which of these Shakespeare-based films do you like best, or is there one you love I didn’t include?

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Shakespeare in Love, would be my favorite. And I don't know any girl who doesn't like "10 Things". Another one to check out is "O" wtih Josh Harnett and Julia Stiles. It is a drama, tragedy, based on Othello, and is centered around a private school basketball transfer student, Odin James (Mekhi Phifer) who horns in on the coaches son Hugo's (Harnett) popularity on the team and who also dates the Deans daughter (Stiles). The jealous Hugo devises a plot to break up Odin and the Deans daughter, that goes awry. The very yummy Andrew Keegan, who was also in "10 Things", plays Hugo's best friend. Check it out!!!

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