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Shakespeare

A specially selected folio of Shakespeare adaptations exclusively for BFI Player subscribers.

From Kurosawa's classics to acclaimed productions from the RSC, here are some key works in the history of Shakespeare on film. Scholarly subscribers can rewatch to their hearts desire; the uninitiated can journey to the “undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.”

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Henry V
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Henry V

Historical drama1944131 minsDirector: Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier rouses an all-star cast and an imperiled nation with his magnificent adaptation of Shakespeare's warrior monarch.

Hamlet
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Hamlet

Drama1948153 mins

The first British film to win the Best Picture Oscar remains one of the strongest examples of Shakespeare on film.

Throne of Blood
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Throne of Blood

Drama1957110 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

A master of period-drama, Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai) recasts Macbeth as a Japanese warlord in one of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations.

The Bad Sleep Well
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The Bad Sleep Well

Crime1960151 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

The first film made by Akira Kurosawa's own production company is a dark tale of greed, corporate corruption and revenge.

Ran
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Ran

Drama1985154 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan.

Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar

Drama2012151 minsDirector: Gregory Doran

Gregory’s Doran’s innovative Shakespeare interpretation transplants the action to post-independence Africa.

Macbeth
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Macbeth

2001128 minsDirector: Gregory Doran

Antony Sher stars in the Gregory Doran’s acclaimed RSC production, lauded as the finest adaptation of the Scottish play for over a quarter of a century.

Macbeth
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Macbeth

2009151 minsDirector: Rupert Goold

Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood star as Macbeth and his Lady in Rupert Goold's immediate and visceral adaptation.

Time Flies
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Time Flies

Comedy194488 minsDirector: Walter Forde

Fast-talking funny man Tommy Handley visits Elizabethan England - and ends up teaching Good Queen Bess con tricks - in this snappy time-travel comedy.

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