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As You Like It (1978)

TV-14 | | Comedy | TV Movie 17 December 1978
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.

Director:

Basil Coleman

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Rosalind
Brian Stirner ... Orlando
Richard Pasco ... Jaques
Angharad Rees ... Celia
James Bolam ... Touchstone
Clive Francis ... Oliver
Richard Easton ... Duke Frederick
Tony Church Tony Church ... Duke Senior
John Quentin John Quentin ... Le Beau
Maynard Williams Maynard Williams ... Silvius
Victoria Plucknett Victoria Plucknett ... Phebe
Marilyn Le Conte ... Audrey
Tom McDonnell Tom McDonnell ... Amiens
David Lloyd Meredith David Lloyd Meredith ... Corin
Arthur Hewlett ... Adam
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Storyline

Orlando (Brian Stirner) is forced to work like a servant for his brother Oliver (Clive Francis), so he goes to win his fortune in a wrestling contest, where he meets a lady of the court, Rosalind (Dame Helen Mirren). Rosalind (daughter of deposed Duke Senior (Tony Church)) is companion to Celia (Angharad Rees) (niece of the deposed Duke) and when the current Duke, Frederick (Richard Easton), banishes Rosalind from the kingdom, she, Celia, the court jester (and incidentally Orlando (Brian Stirner)) all end up in the forest of Arden, where the deposed Duke holds court. Romantic mix-ups, cross-dressing, love poems nailed to trees, and a lion await them all. Written by Kathy Li (revised by Albert Sanchez Moreno)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: As You Like It See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of only two BBC Shakespeare productions shot on-location, the other being Henry VIII (1979). However, the location shooting received a lukewarm response from critics and the BBC's own people, with the general consensus being that the natural world in the episode overwhelmed the actors, actresses, and the story. See more »

Quotes

Orlando: Only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
See more »

Connections

Version of As You Like It (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All the world's a stage
2 January 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

To put it lightly, 'As You Like It' is not one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. Consider it one of his weakest actually. It's not the language and text that's the problem, Shakespeare's unrivalled mastery of language and text can be seen in even his lesser work. The problem is the too thin and absurd story with a silly and randomly introduced ending, just about kept afloat by Shakespeare's prose and nice characters.

Do find the late 70s-early 80s BBC Shakespeare adaptations very interesting for mainly their distinguished casts and general fidelity and respect to the plays. Regardless of reservations with the production values and more than once there has been uneven casting. Don't consider any of them unwatchable but some are better than others, liked to loved a fair number but some disappointed. This production of 'As You Like It' has garnered some scorn here, while sharing some of the criticisms to me despite its unevenness it's better than has been said by some. It is not one of the best of the series, nowhere near, but not one of the worst. Personally would put it somewhere in the middle.

Can understand a few of the criticisms. The camera work is static in places and tends to be rather unimaginative.

'As You Like It's' pace has its draggy spots when the action is especially thin and on the static side in direction (the story of the play though is to blame partly for this though). And the humour is variable, most moments delight and are very funny, especially the witty banter, but others came over as strained as a result of trying too hard dramatically.

However, really did love the rustic sets (one of not many in the series to be done on location, thus there is more of an opened-up feel), which looked very attractive. Especially the forest setting. The costumes were evocative and didn't look ugly. Also appreciated that as a performance and adaptation it was faithful to the text and action, generally did make it engaging and make it easy to understand and didn't try to incorporate any senseless or distasteful touches. The most inspired touch being the wrestling scene. Even if it could have taken more risks and had more freshness as there was at times an air of too faithful and safe.

Shakespeare's wit and poetry always shines, as does the beautiful music, but it's the cast that make this production of 'As You Like It' worth seeing. Helen Mirren has a demanding role as Rosalind and carries it off pretty splendidly. Brian Stirner has his dull moments early on but mostly his Orlando is very convincing. Richard Pasco revels in Jaques' pompous condescension in a maddeningly thrilling way and James Bolam is a scene-stealing Touchstone. Angharad Rees is very good.

All in all, decent production and while flawed better than given credit for. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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