Thursday Movie Pick: Shakespeare Adaptations

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies adapted from Shakespeare's work. Thankfully this theme leaves a lot of wiggle rooms because there's plenty of films that are loosely adapted, and those work for me. I'm going to share my favorite, one that I forgot was based on Shakespeare, and one that I have a really stupid memory of. 

1) 10 Things I Hate About You

Loosely based on "The Taming of the Shrew" This one is my favorite. I love the cast and it's just so fun. It's easily my favorite rom com of all time. 

2) My Own Private Idaho

Loosely based on Henry IV. I love this movie, but I almost always forget that Van Sant was basing this on Henry IV. Aside from some the way some of the characters speak, it's very subtle. Either way, great film.

3) Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Now here's my stupid memory. We read a lot of Shakespeare in my freshman lit class and our teacher showed us this film. Being as we were all hormone driven teenagers, all anyone seemed to take in was the fact that Juliet's boobs were huge. Our teacher tried to fast forward through their "love scene"and ended up hitting play right as we got a shot of a topless Juliet. I swear no one laughed hysterically.

Everyone laughed hysterically. 

28 comments:

  1. I have Romeo and Juliet on my watch list for the week, I hope I get to it soon. I also loved 10 Things I Hate About You.

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  2. I have not seen My Own Private Idaho but I enjoyed 10 Things I Hate About You and it was the first time Heath Ledger made an impression on me. I really enjoyed Romeo & Juliet and find this version the best. I have seen others but they seem so old and these were teens after all.

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    1. True, this was one of the few versions that used legit teenagers. You should see My Own Private Idaho, it's so good.

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  3. 10 Things I Hate About You was enjoyable.

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  4. Ah yes...The days of watching Romeo & Julliet at school.... Think we saw the Leonardo one and the one you picked.

    Love 10 Things I hate about you.

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    1. Apparently everyone saw the 60's version in school. lol

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  5. 10 Things isn't even LOOSELY based on Taming of the Shrew; it IS Taming of the Shrew. Like, down to the tiniest detail, the plot is exact (minus the framing device, of course). Anyway, it's perfect, and I love the title poem at the end.

    This is the most romantic version of R&J I think.

    LOVE that you picked My Own Private Idaho! It's one of my all-time favorite films!

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    1. I used "loosely" for aesthetic reasons lol.

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  6. I have one of your choices in Romeo & Juliet which I also saw in high school as we were a bit shocked that nudity was shown as the teacher was like "oh shit...".

    I love your picks as I can't believe I didn't think of My Own Private Idaho which is in front of me to the left as I own the Criterion DVD for that film.

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    1. I own it too. Mine came with a little booklet about the film as well. Good find. :)

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  7. Haven't seen any of your pick, but Romeo and Juliet. I, however, picked Baz Luhrmann's version although it deviates a little from the source.

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    1. I figured Baz's would be pretty popular today.

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  8. I expected 10 Things to be popular this week, and rightly so it's a fine updating of Shrew with a charming Heath and JGL.

    Can't say I loved My Own Private Idaho, admired it audacity would be closer the mark. It's a strange view but an intriguing one.

    This version of Romeo & Juliet is a swoony visual treat. Not my favorite one but one of the better straight film versions. There is a 30's version that is a near disaster because the leads, Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard, were 34 & 43 respectively when it was made!!

    SO many choices to pick from this week! We have a sort of match in that one of mine is a version of Taming of the Shrew.

    Hamlet (1996)-Kenneth Branagh adapted, directed and stars as the tortured Dane supported by a cast that is drawn from the cream of the British acting world with a few choice American stars pulled in for good measure. What makes this version stand out from the myriad others is Branagh’s decision to pull the play out of the dingy and poorly lit 14th century to the lush baroque 19th, resulting in deserved nominations for Art & Costume design, making it a far more vivid experience. That’s a great help since he has also chosen to present the entirety of the play’s nearly four hour run time. In a cast that includes Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Robin Williams, Gerard Depardieu and Judi Dench among so many others it’s difficult to choose any MVP’s aside from Branagh but Kate Winslet as Ophelia and Rufus Sewell as Fortinbras, the crown prince of Norway are memorable. It’s a challenging view but worthwhile.

    Joe MacBeth (1955)-Updating the Scottish play to the criminal underworld of 1930’s America this violent take on the tale (it begins with the title character blowing away a crime boss then going directly to his own wedding) is an inventive twist on the material. Excellent work by Paul Douglas and Ruth Roman as the murderous mobster and his rapacious Lady M hold you rapt as the homicidal pair climb the ladder of success over an ever increasing pile of bodies.

    Kiss Me Kate (1953)-The Taming of the Shrew moved into the world of the modern theatre and musicalized by Cole Porter. Famous stage star Fred Graham (Howard Keel) tries to dissuade his equally famous ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (Kathryn Grayson) to postpone her upcoming marriage so she can co-star with him in a musical updating of The Taming of the Shrew. She agrees reluctantly since their relationship post-divorce is as combative as their married life so it’s not smooth going. Add in several flies in the ointment including second lead Lois Lane(!) (Ann Miller) and some mobsters who are mistakenly putting the squeeze on Frank for a debt Lois’s boyfriend owes and it’s a wacky time backstage. Onstage though there are some amazing dance numbers performed by four of the best dancers of the 50’s (Miller, Carol Haney, Bob Fosse and Bobby Van) and great music sung by all including “It’s Too Darn Hot!” and “From This Moment On”. One of the great musicals, originally shown in 3-D.

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    1. Of yours, I've only seen Hamlet. That was another one we watched in school.

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  9. I've always wanted to see My Own Private Idaho just for River Phoenix. Was he good in it? Gone too soon :(

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    1. He is! I think it's my favorite performance of his. Keanu Reeves is great too. You should see it.

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  10. Sad, but the only one I've seen is the '68 Romeo and Juliet. I did enjoy it, and actually had a similar experience to yours, except mine was only a 6th grade class. My teacher went the opposite route of fast-forwarding. He gave us the "boobs are coming, let's all be mature" speech. It sorta worked while the film was actually playing, but you can bet your ass, that's all us boys talked about for the next week or so. Still not sure how my teacher got clearance for that (if he actually did).

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    1. See, our teacher should've just did that instead of trying and failing to fastfoward lol. But 6th grade though? Dang.

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  11. I love seeing 10 Things I Hate About You on a lot of these lists - it's such a classic. Nice picks!

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  12. 10 things I hate about you...... always and forever my favourite.......makes me sad though.

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  13. Yes!! 10 Things is so good! Sucha great film. I don't know much about My Own Private Idaho and until today had no idea it was based on Henry IV. I havent seen that version of R&J but it is raved about so might have to give it a whirl.

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    1. My Own Private Idaho is so underrated. You should really check it out.

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  14. I think Juliet's boobs were the high point of many students' freshman year of high school. LOL! When my class saw that movie, we were all talking about her breasts and Romeo's glorious naked bottom.

    Great picks! I've never seen My Private Idaho, but now I am interesting in checking it out.

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    1. Oops...My Own Private Idaho. Editing fail. :-)

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.