Why are Almost All Shakespeare Films Terrible?

Ronan Paterson

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    An analysis of the many factors which militate both against the success of faithful adaptations of Shakespeare in the commercial cinema and the possibilities of making quality adaptations outside those frameworks.

    Drawing the important distinction between a "Shakespeare" film and a "Shakespearean" film, the author examines the attempts, both within and outside the studio system, to film Shakespeare, with a focus on the finances required, the distribution patterns, the critical and audience responses and the financial returns which have so far meant that almost all of the Shakespeare film adaptations fail to satisfy either the box office or the critical constituencies.

    He further examines a small number of cases which have succeeded in one or other of those contexts, drawing important lessons from those few.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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