A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance


A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) Poster

Two couples and a troupe of actors have an encounter with some mischievous fairies in the forest.


6.9/10
3,241


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  • Olivia de Havilland in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
  • William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
  • Olivia de Havilland and Dick Powell in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
  • Ross Alexander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
  • Anita Louise in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
  • Jean Muir in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

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Cast & Crew

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Directors:

William Dieterle , Max Reinhardt

Writers:

William Shakespeare (by), Charles Kenyon (arranged for the screen by), Mary C. McCall Jr. (arranged for the screen by)

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17 April 1999 | Jaime N. Christley
Astounding Shakespeare adaptation
Since "Shakespeare in Love" made that particular playwright happening and new, check out this, Warner Bros.' wild, expensive, free-wheeling adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

For me, James Cagney makes the movie. He's Nick Bottom, the leader (or so he believes) of a traveling troupe of actors. He gives an invigorating performance--the screen is his. At one point, he gets to wear a donkey's head (if you know the play, you know what I'm talking about), but it doesn't faze him in the least. Cagney, the most energetic screen actor, doesn't let his over-the-top approach mar his skill or care with The Bard's great words. It's the test of anyone wishing to act out a part in a Shakespeare play, which Cagney passes, to "speak" the dialogue, and by doing so, make what might be confusing on the page understandable to audiences on the screen or stage.

Warner really spared no expense with this production, which I think might have been the costliest of that year. The whole affair is like a dream in every way--it seems to sway in the wind, fragile to the touch. It features Mendolssohn music, soft-white photography (the great Hal Mohr), and some of the most incredible sets and costumes you're likely to see in a 1930s film.

Nominated for three Academy Awards: Picture, Cinematography and Editing. Bested by "Mutiny on the Bounty" for the first, it won the other two.

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