Circuit Q&A – What’s Your Favorite Film Adaptation of a Shakespearean Play?

Kenneth Branagh in "Hamlet" 1996
**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of Awards Circuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**

Today is William Shakespeare’s birthday. During his life, Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote some of the greatest literary works of all time. His plays have long been a great source of material for the film industry. According to the Guinness Book of Records, he is the most filmed author in history.

To perform Shakespeare is, in a way, the pinnacle of an actor’s career. Whether performing live on stage or in front of a camera, Shakespeare is a dream for the actor and a wonder for the audience. His works have provided endless thought-provoking entertainment throughout the years. So it begs the question (not that question!)… what is your favorite Shakespearean play film adaptation?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was first produced in 1935 and then again in 1999. The 1999 version stars Michelle Pfieffer, Christian Bale and Kevin Kline. It is a delightful mix of the fun and the absurd, and a truly whimsical adaptation.

Heath Ledger & Julia Stiles from “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

D.W. Griffith produced “The Taming of the Shrew” in the silent era (imagine Shakespeare with no spoken words). This play was also the inspiration behind the popular 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You,” starring Heath Ledger (in his star-making role) and Julia Stiles.

Hamlet” tells the story of the spoiled and paranoid Prince of Denmark.  Laurence Olivier, David Tennent, Ethan Hawke, Mel Gibson and Kenneth Branagh have all taken a stab at this iconic role.

Olivia Hussey & Leonard Whiting as “Romeo & Juliet” in 1966

One must not omit the greatest love story ever told, “Romeo and Juliet.” More traditional retellings of the story come from the 1936, the 1954, the 1968 (far and away the best) and the 2013 versions. In 1996, Baz Luhrmann broke the mold. He modernized the tale of these doomed lovers, heightening the violence and the passion found in Shakespeare’s words. Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes were stunning as the young soul mates.

And the list goes on and on… What is your favorite film adaptation of a Shakespeare play?

What is your favorite Shakespearean Play Film Adaptation? Share your thoughts in the comments below!