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All's Well That Ends Well (1981)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | TV Movie 4 January 1981
Helena loves Bertram but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France, who is ill, and Helena has a remedy that might cure ... See full summary »

Director:

Elijah Moshinsky

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Johnson ... Countess of Rousillon
Ian Charleson ... Bertram
Michael Hordern ... Lafeu
Angela Down Angela Down ... Helena
Peter Jeffrey ... Parolles
Kevin Stoney ... Rinaldo
Donald Sinden ... King of France
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Dumain
Dominic Jephcott ... Captain Dumain
Paul Brooke ... Lavache
James Simmons ... Bachelor
John Segal ... Bachelor
Peter Sands ... Bachelor
Yves Aubert Yves Aubert ... Bachelor
Terence McGinity Terence McGinity ... First Gentleman
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Storyline

Helena loves Bertram but he's of noble birth, while she's just a doctor's daughter. But Bertram is at the court of the King of France, who is ill, and Helena has a remedy that might cure him and win her the right to marry Bertram. But does Bertram want to marry her? Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 1981 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »

Connections

Version of All's Well That Ends Well (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
2 December 2009 | by angelofvicSee all my reviews

This award-winning BBC production brings life, enormous appeal, and intelligence to a play criminally underperformed. It's a pleasure to watch ... and re-watch ... and re-watch.

Let's start with the fact that the production itself has been hailed far and wide for its beauty and visual precision. Director Elijah Moshinsky patterned it after paintings of Vermeer, and even though this may be unknown to the viewer, it has a remarkable subliminal impact.

Now for the cast:

Angela Down is the truly perfect Helena (the heroine of the play). She looks the part -- comely yet intellectual -- and speaks her lines with the perfect emotional fit. Most importantly, her diction and enunciation, and the speed at which she says the bard's words, make everything she says perfectly understandable and perfectly apt within that emotional fit. The viewer never has to wonder "What did she just say?" or "What does that mean?" Nonetheless the lines are fluid, musical, emotional, and very human. To me, this is the sign of a true Shakespearean actor.

Celia Johnson as the Countess Roussillon (Bertram's mother and Helena's guardian) is equally fantastic. She's a pleasure to watch and listen to. Consummate acting.

Ian Charleson as Bertram, Helena's very reluctant love object, is suitably sullen and morose, yet we see the physical beauty and the inherent charm, nobility, and charisma which attracts Helena to him. Charleson, a very internal actor, never overplays the part. To some extent he sometimes almost underplays it, occasionally speaking softly whilst his compatriots declaim more loudly or forcefully. Yet he holds our attention and fits the role very well.

The supporting cast is almost without exception quite admirable -- some remarkably so. Excellent casting, and a lot of excellent acting.

All in all, a very good production which makes the play easy to understand and enjoy.

Highly recommended.


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