: : : The Plays of William Shakespeare, Vol. 5 - The Merry Wives of Windsor
Box shot of The Plays of William Shakespeare, Vol. 5 - The Merry Wives of Windsor [North America]

The Plays of William Shakespeare, Vol. 5 - The Merry Wives of Windsor

Story

Think of this DVD (part of a series taped in England in the 1970s and 1980s) as Shakespeare on the cheap: serviceable, overacted, aimed squarely at a student level. It's hardly the Bard for the connoisseur, but its broad, slapstick approach translates into comprehensible comedy that works on a verbal level as well as a physical one. This productions stars Leon Charles as Sir John Falstaff, who engineers a roguish plan to seduce two married women, then blackmail them into protecting their reputations. But the wives, played by Gloria Grahame and Valerie Seelie-Snyder, turn the tables on Shakespeare's oversized knight errant. The acting is professional in a provincial way, with sets that look as much like cardboard as they are. If shown in a classroom, where its 150-minute length can be broken up into more easily digestible bites, it might be able to promote interest in Shakespeare nonetheless. --Marshall Fine

Cast

Gloria Grahame
Leon Charles
Valerie Seelie-Snyder
Dixie Neyland Tymitz

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