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I have watched a couple of costume dramas (based on classic literature/books) on TV recently: Madame Bovary, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall (Anne Bronte), and In Search Of The Brontes. This inspired me, together with the fact that some of my favourite movies fall into this category (Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Remains Of The Day with Anthony Hopkins), to check out what else is available.

I have made three lists, this one being for TV series and movies based upon Shakespeare plays, a second list is for TV series and movies based upon other classic literature, and a separate third list for classic American literature.

Further suggestions welcomed - I'm sure I've missed many.

<<<<<<<<<<<< UPDATED 17-October-2004 >>>>>>>>>>>>

I've added The Merchant Of Venice (1973) and Anthony & Cleopatra (1974).

I have also updated my list for

Thank you for adding that particular version of Merchant of Venice. It's my favorite.

There's also a TV series done for UK TV, called "The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare". There's 20 of them that ran in the late 70's to early 80's. Have you seen any of those?

I thought the Marlon Brando version of Julius Caesar (1953) was pretty good.

I couldn't find the 70s/80s version(s) of "The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare" on film, video or DVD I'm afraid, but if you can point me in the right direction I shall happily add them.

Thanks for the suggestion for the Marlon Brando version of Julius Caesar, which I have now added. More suggestions welcome. although I don't always promise such a quick response.

I've also added the brilliant Tom Stoppard play "Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead", plus a few others.

Copy and paste the following link into your browser's address bar:;mx=20;q=The%20Complete%20Dramatic%20

This is the search I did on IMDB in order to find them all in one list. Some were formerly available on VHS or DVD, but now are out of print.

Much obliged. That is a great link. I do now recall watching some of these when they were first shown on TV.

I've now added them all - thanks again.

No problem.

Kurosawa did a couple of these: Ran was based on King Lear, and Throne Of Blood is an adaptation of MacBeth.

The oddest one would be Strange Brew, which shares a few things in common with Hamlet. And isn't Forbidden Planet also based on The Temptest?

So I've heard.

Good call on Ran and Forbidden Planet. I've not come across Throne Of Blood or Strange Brew before.

I've now added Ran, Throne of Blood, and Forbidden Planet - many thanks.
However, I couldn't find any connection between Strange Brew and Shakespeare, other then the name of the brew (Elsinore) - is this a test ? (or is Strange Brew an imposter Imposter?)

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now...

The Taming of the Shrew
Directed by Jonathan Miller, John Cleese does an awesome Petruchio and, according to my dim recollection, less sexist than most Shrews.

Just declaim a few lines from "Othella"
And they think you're a heckuva fella.
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer,

The Lion King (1994)
Matthew Broderick as Hamlet, Jeremy Irons as King Claudius, James Earl Jones as King Hamlet, Robert Guillaume as Polonius, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern... Hakuna Matata, baby!

And if still, to be shocked, she pretends well,
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well."
If your goil is a Washington Heights dream
Treat the kid to "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
Who makes a better Ariel than Mia Farrow? Nobody, that's who.

If she fights when her clothes you are mussing,
What are clothes? "Much Ado About Nussing."
If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the "Coriolanus."

Kiss Me Kate (1953)
With Ann Miller, James Whitmore and Bob Fosse... all in supporting roles!

Brush up your Shakespeare,
and the women you will wow!

Terrific - I have added all of those. Many thanks, although I'm not convinced that those particular quotes will wow the women.

Neither will being an old overweight mobster.