Young lovers Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick (Sir Kenneth Branagh) and Beatrice (Dame Emma Thompson) to wed as well.
During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.
A woman who has lost her memory is taken in by a Los Angeles orphanage, and a private eye is enlisted to track down her identity, but he soon finds that he might have a past life connection to her that endangers their lives.
The King of Navarre and his three companions swear a very public oath to study together and to renounce women for three years. Their honor is immediately put to the test by the arrival of the Princess of France and her three lovely companions. It's love at first sight for all concerned followed by the men's highly entertaining, but hopeless efforts to disguise their feelings.Written by
The film takes place from September 1939 to May 1945. See more »
During the tearing of the contract, Berowne mouths Longaville's lines along with him. See more »
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive: They are the ground, the books, the academes, from whence doth spring the true Promethean fire. O, we have made a vow to study, lords, and in that vow we have forsworn our books; For when would you, my liege, or you, or you in leaden contemplation have found out such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes of beauty's tutors have enriched you with? Other slow arts entirely keep the brain, and therefore, finding barren practisers, scarce show a harvest of ...
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The UK Region 2 DVD contains 5 deleted scenes:
The boys are arguing about the girls and about breaking the vows the made.
Moth, Constable Dull, Holofernia, Sir Nathaniel and Costard and discussing what to perform for the king, the princess and their company. They descide upon performing ^Óthe 9 worthies^Ô. Parts of this scene can be seen in the news reels.
The third extra scene is an extended version of the scene were the girls are discussing and mocking the gifts they received from the men. The extra parts are extra dialogue for Katherine and Rosaline. Katherine tells the story of a girl who died from melancholly. Rosaline has an extended part of dialogue in which she mocks the men and Berowne specifically.
There is a alternative scene for the masked dance scene more true to the story of Shakespeare. The boys dress up as Russians who specially came to visit the girls.
The fifth scene is the performance of 'the 9 worthies' by the supporting characters.
The UK Region 2 DVD does also contain various outtakes. Some of these were cut (ca. 4 seconds) to maintain the "U" rating.
Beautiful words, delightful music, great acting! What could ruin such a mix. The answer, the ego of Kenneth Branagh. He is much too old for the part of a young student. His direction is absurdly literal. For example: probably the best use of the song "Heaven, I'm in heaven..." is sung by Angel Islington in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Here the song is ruined by literally yanking the singers up on wires to a ceiling painted to resemble heaven. If a song mentions a hat, the director shows us a hat, and so on. The camera is always doing things that are distracting and annoying. The choreography is nothing but a string of literal quotes, from Busby Berkley to Fred Astaire to Gene Kelly to Bob Fosse. It never flows, just jerks from quote to quote. And while the older actors are superb, there does not seem to be an actor under 25 who can do Shakespeare...they all sound as if they are mouthing words that are not a part of their vocabulary. And the slapstick -- 'taint funny Magee. After all this, I still recommend watching the film. It is much kinder to the clowns than most productions of LLL. Branagh's great speech in praise of love is worth the price of admission. He acts sincerity so well it is almost enough to make us forget what he did to Emma Thompson. And the music is ... heaven.
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