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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

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Won 7 Oscars. Another 56 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim McMullan ...
Frees (as Tim McMullen)
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Steven Beard ...
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Patrick Barlow ...
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Sandra Reinton ...
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Bridget McConnell ...
Lady in Waiting (as Bridget McConnel)
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Lady in Waiting
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Storyline

Will Shakespeare is a known but struggling poet, playwright and actor who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslow and Richard Burbidge but now faces a far more difficult problem: he is bereft of ideas and has yet to begin writing. He is in search of his muse, the woman who will inspire him but all attempts fail him until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. She loves the theatre and would like nothing more than to take to the stage but is forbidden from doing so as only men can be actors. She is also a great admirer of Shakespeare's works. Dressing as a man and going by the name of Thomas Kent, she auditions and is ideal for a part in his next play. Shakespeare soon sees through her disguise and they begin a love affair, one they know cannot end happily for them as he is already married and she has been promised to the dour Lord Wessex. As the company rehearses his new play, Will and Viola's love is transferred to the written page leading to the masterpiece that is ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...A Comedy About the Greatest Love Story Almost Never Told... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare apasionado  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,224,426 (USA) (10 January 1999)

Gross:

$100,317,794 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Stoppard added several characters in his work on the screenplay, including Christopher Marlowe. Some of his additions, including those regarding John Webster, were handled with caution, as it was feared some references would be too obscure. See more »

Goofs

Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush) is depicted as being constantly in debt, yet the opposite is true - money lending was one of his professions. The filmmakers knew this. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Philip Henslowe: [screams in pain]
Hugh Fennyman: Henslowe! Do you know what happens to a man who doesn't pay his debts? His boots catch fire!
Philip Henslowe: [screams]
Hugh Fennyman: Why do you howl when it is I who am bitten?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Shakespeare in Love 2 See more »

Soundtracks

The Play & the Marriage
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Warbeck
Performed by Catherine Bott
Conducted by Nick Ingman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I love this film!
4 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love this film. It is cleverly written to include characters and events that we've read about in boring theatre history books for eons, but are now presented as living, lusty, real people. It gives us comic, romantic, sad, and hopeful moments all at the same time. The performances by all of the actors are top notch. Geoffrey Rush, Ralph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ben Affleck are superb. The supporting cast is equally excellent. Not to be missed is the performance by Judie Dench as Queen Elizabeth l. Her time on film is short, but her impact on the film is enormous. Bits and pieces of Shakespeare's work are evident throughout, and the tie ins to Christopher Marlowe are inspired! Costumes, makeup, scenery, lighting, and sound - all the technical and design elements are incredibly well researched and well executed. This film gives us a wonderful look at life in the Elizabethan period, not just the life of those involved in the theatre. From the ink stained hands of Shakespeare to the contents of countless toss pots hurled out of upper floor windows, we feel the grime and grit endured by Londoners during the 16th century.


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