The Guardian Ranks 20 Best Shakespeare Adaptations

Last year The Guardian offered a welcome global perspective for its “Top 20” movie adaptations of William Shakespeare plays. The “usual suspects” were well represented – Laurence Olivier’s Richard III (1955), Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight (1966), Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing (1993), and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo  + Juliet (1996), for example. But the list also featured an impressively international roster: Bollywood versions of The Comedy of Errors (Angoor, 1982) and Macbeth (Maqbool, 2003); Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa’s loose adaptations of Hamlet (The Bad Sleep Well, 1960) and Macbeth (Throne of Blood, 1957); a controversial staging of Othello in South Africa (1989); an appropriately Danish, silent-film Hamlet (1921); and Russian versions of King Lear (1971) and Hamlet (1964). Here’s a link to the article and the full list below:  

20. As You Like It (1992, dir. Christine Edzard)

19. Julius Caesar (1953, dir. Joseph L.
Mankiewicz)

18. Twelfth Night (1996, dir. Trevor Nunn)

17. Angoor (1982, dir. Gulzar)

16. Titus (1999, dir. Julie Taymor)

15. Othello (1989, dir. Janet Suzman)

14. The Bad Sleep Well (1960, dir. Akira
Kurosawa)

13. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935, dir. Max
Reinhardt)

12. Much Ado About Nothing (1993, dir. Kenneth
Branagh)

11. King Lear (1971, dir. Grigori Kozintsev)

10. Romeo + Juliet (1996, dir. Baz Luhrmann)

9. Hamlet (1921, dir. Svend
Gade and Heinz Schal)

8. The Tempest (1979, dir. Derek Jarman)

7. Richard III (1955, dir. Laurence Olivier)

6. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999, dir. Gil Junger)

5. King Lear (1971, dir. Peter Brook)

4. Maqbool (2003, dir. Vishal Bhardwaj)

3. Chimes at Midnight (1966, dir. Orson Welles)

2. Hamlet (1964, dir. Grigori Kozintsev)

1. Throne of Blood (1957, dir. Akira Kurosawa) 

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