Skip to Main Content

CMTH 220: Introduction to Film: Shakespeare

This guide will help you find film criticism, biographies of directors, definitions of film genres, and information about the Library's DVD collection.

Classic Shakespeare Adaptations on DVD

Shakespeare plays have been a popular source of film ideas since the earliest days of the medium. Find out more about how the world's greatest works of literature have been adapted to film by reading this article from the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Now Streaming: Films on Demand

The Films on Demand database is a great place to find videos about Shakespeare's plays, their many adaptations into film, and the man himself. These titles are just a selection to get you started -- search the database to find many more!


  • Shakespeare on the Silver Screen -- Includes excerpts from Julie Taymor’s Titus and Kenneth Branagh’s musical Love’s Labour’s Lost, as well as classic footage from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, Peter Brook’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Othello with Laurence Fishburn.


  • Shakespeare: Directing for Film and Stage -- This program looks at the various challenges involved with bringing Shakespeare's plays to life, from a directing point of view. Taking scenes from Hamlet, directors discuss ways of interpreting the texts, and how those choices affect the meaning and performance. The directors also discuss the stylistic possibilities and limitations of both stage and film.


  • Hollywood's Best Film Directors: Kenneth Branagh -- This profile of the Harry Potter series alum follows his acting and directing career, starting with his work at the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a director, Branagh has brought a fresh perspective to several Shakespeare plays, including Henry V, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It.


  • Discovering Zeffirelli -- Franco Zeffirelli, the noted Italian director and producer of films, television, and opera, was known for his extravagantly staged productions, including Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet. In this program, actors reveal what it was like to work for the exacting director, who insisted on authenticity.

Genre-Related Books