POSTED April 23 2013

Brush up your Shakespeare

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in "Ten Things I Hate About You"

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in “Ten Things I Hate About You”

To commemorate the Bard’s 449th, a question: Name movies that update or fracture Shakespeare? While I don’t like genetically modified food, I like genetically modified Shakespeare.

Taming of the Shrew has proved to be most adaptable, being the basis of Kiss Me, Kate, Ten Things I Hate About You and Deliver Us from Eva.

Romeo and Juliet was nicely postmodernized in Shakespeare in Love, Twelfth Night was teased into the agreeable She’s the Man and Othello remade into O.

As you think of other titles, enjoy this clip from Kiss Me, Kate:

Name your favorite modified Shakespeare?




  1. Abramorama says:

    I liked MEN OF HONOR when I saw it many years ago but have no idea if it holds up.

  2. wwolfe says:

    Does Paul Mazursky’s “Tempest” count? Other than the title and its island setting, I’m not sure it mirrors the Shakespeare play too faithfully. “Forbidden Planet” might actually be more faithful, notwithstanding its sci-fi approach.

  3. Debbie R says:

    Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Juliet. But maybe that’s just because she made it ok to have thick eyebrows. I can’t even remember if it was contemporized. And does Shakespeare in Love count?

  4. I was going to mention Men of Honor as well, which didn’t quite work overall as a modern mob version of Macbeth, but it did have its moments. Still, Kurosawa was the master of Shakespeare in a new setting and he think he saved his best for almost last with his take on King Lear in Ran.

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