"This book is a historical study of five major productions and several offshoots of Shakespeare's plays. Willson's thesis is that studios like MGM and Warner Bros. made these films in order to polish their images as creators of artistic rather than populist products. The films also reflect the practices - the use of contract players, overproduction, adaptations based on popular genres - that have come to characterize Hollywood as an industry." "In discussing these productions, Willson pays special attention to cuts in the texts, casting decisions, and the actors' screen identities, directors' reputations and their previous films, and studio marketing strategies. Readers of Shakespeare in Hollywood will gain a better understanding of how studios attempted to make Shakespeare accessible to and respected by audiences with little or no knowledge of the plays. This goal foreshadowed efforts by such directors as Olivier and Branagh to bring the Bard to movie audiences."--BOOK JACKET.
1. The Taming of the Shrew (1929) and Star Power -- 2. "Doing Shakespeare Right": Warner Brothers' A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) -- 3. Love's Monument: The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Romeo and Juliet (1936) -- 4. Selected Offshoots: Shakespeare at War, on Broadway, in the Mob, in Space, and on the Range. To Be or Not to Be (1942). A Double Life (1947). Joe MacBeth (1955). Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Tempest. My Darling Clementine (1946). Broken Lance (1954). Jubal (1956) -- 5. Shakespeare on Poverty Row: Welles's Republic Pictures Macbeth (1948) -- 6. Shakespeare's Anti-Fascist Roman Epic: The Houseman-Mankiewicz Julius Caesar (1953)
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