2007 May 08

The Shakespeare Collection Comes to DVD August 14

Warner Bros. is getting literary in August!

Warner Home Video will debut a four title collection of William Shakespeare’s most famous screen adaptations on August 14. Leading the group of the Bard’s masterworks will be the long-awaited DVD debut of Kenneth’s Branagh’s Hamlet 2-Disc Special Edition, the unforgettable and highly acclaimed full text version of Shakespeare’s powerful tragedy, featuring a magnificent all-star cast. The collection also includes three other famous Shakespeare screen translations, all making their highly-demanded premieres on DVD — Max Reinhardt’s legendary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which featured virtually the entire Warner Bros. stable of stars circa 1935, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Othello, and the lavish M-G-M version of Romeo And Juliet starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer. Among the galaxy of famous stars in these films are Maggie Smith, James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Mickey Rooney, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal.

The Shakespeare Collection, with all films carefully remastered to showcase their lush production values, includes new commentaries, vintage featurettes and more. The Collection will be available both as a five-disc set for $59.92 SRP, and as individual titles. The Hamlet 2-Disc Special Edition DVD will sell for $26.99 SRP. The individual titles are available for $19.97 SRP each.

Hamlet 2-Disc Special Edition (1996):
In this first-ever full-text film of Shakespeare’s greatest work, nominated for 4 Academy Awards®, the power surges through every scene. The timeless tale of murder, corruption and revenge is reset in an opulent 19th-century world, using sprawling Blenheim Palace as Elsinore with much of the action staged in shimmering mirrored and gold-filled interiors. The luminous cast includes actor/director Kenneth Branagh, Kate Winslet, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Robin Williams, Jack Lemmon, Billy Crystal and Charlton Heston.

The excitement of the Bard’s words and Branagh’s adventurous filmmaking style lift the story from its often shadowy ambience to fully-lit pageantry and rage. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “In the 80 years that works of world literature have been adapted for the screen, few filmmakers have attempted so much and with such success.”

DVD Features:
– Introduction by director/star Kenneth Branagh
– Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare scholar Russell Jackson
– Featurette To Be on Camera: A History with Hamlet
– 1996 Cannes Film Festival promo

Source: MovieWeb

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