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Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations

Whilst nothing can beat seeing one of the Bard’s creations in the place it was designed to be performed - the theatre, of course - many film adaptations over the years have tried to recreate his unique magic. We take a look at the best Shakespeare film adaptations, because ‘can one desire too much of a good thing?’ When it comes to Shakespeare, we think not!

Hamlet (1996)
Coming in with a whopping running time of 4.5 hours, this Kenneth Branagh adaptation isn’t for the faint hearted! But it sports amazing cinematography and a talented cast including the likes of Robin Williams, Judy Dench, Kate Winslet and Derek Jacobi. 

Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Perhaps the most well-known of the Shakespeare adaptations, Baz Luhrmann’s modern setting has all the colour and brashness of his usual work. The original language is stunning against the Verona Beach backdrop. Special shout-out also to the Romeo and Juliet National Theatre film starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor!

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Featuring the late Heath Ledger before his tragically early death, this teen favourite is a play off Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Julia Stiles and Ledger shine with their prickly on-screen chemistry. 

Macbeth (2015)
This spooky and foreboding adaptation starring Micheal Fassbender nails the atmosphere of the original play, with it sure to leave a creeping feeling at the back of your neck!


West Side Story (1961 and 2021)
A new adaptation of West Side Story, based on Romeo and Juliet, came out this year to critical acclaim. But one can’t forget the original 1961 version, full of the familiar songs and characters loved by musical fans everywhere. 

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