A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
1966, MGM Repertory, 99 min, USA, UK, Dir: Richard Lester

Zero Mostel is a lazy, sloppy slave in ancient Rome who wishes to win his freedom by helping his master woo a beautiful young courtesan in this adaptation of the popular Broadway musical. A cast of comedy and musical legends including Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton and Michael Crawford keeps the pace fast and furious in this classic farce directed by the great Richard Lester. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.


A MIDWINTER'S TALE
1995, Warner Bros., 99 min, UK, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

Director Kenneth Branagh takes a more unorthodox approach to Shakespeare than usual in this very funny tale (which Branagh also scripted) about an out-of-work actor who decides to stage 'Hamlet' in an isolated English town with a cast and crew comprised entirely of volunteers. Amusing parallels between the actors' personal lives and their stage personas emerge in this engaging meditation on art and romance.


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (1993)
1993, MGM Repertory, 111 min, UK, USA, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

The second of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptations is also the most delightfully entertaining, as the director assembles an eclectic and wonderful cast (including Michael Keaton, Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson and Branagh himself) for a spirited sensual romp. Set and shot in a gorgeous villa in Tuscany, the film is a feast for the eyes, and the attention to detail in Shakespeare's language makes it heaven for the ears as well.


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