A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dieterle, Reinhardt, 1935)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Dieterle & Max Reinhardt, 1935)

Don’t hate me, but I don’t think I like Shakespeare. As far as I could tell, everything I dis-liked about this film could be traced back to the Shakespeare aspect of it. I don’t care for that type of dialogue, presentation of thoughts, or humor. Though, truthfully, most of that could have been tolerable if not for the awful depiction of the little mischievous forest creature, Puck. I don’t know whether to blame Shakespeare, Dieterle and Reinhardt, or Mickey Rooney, but he is so grating with his pre-pubescent shrieking, laughing, and uninnovative sense of humor that I’m not sure if there’s another character I’ve ever dis-liked more.

With that being said, this version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a jaw-dropping technical experience. As seems to be in all the Dieterle films I’ve seen, he seems to be way ahead of his time in terms of special effects. It’s amazing how flawless and graceful the fantasy scenes in the forest are. Creatures move and fly with precision, in amazing dream-like costumes through meticulously created and beautiful set pieces. Had I just thrown this film on mute and been able to witness the fabulous visual presentation without having to listen to a word anyone was saying, I probably would have loved this.  6/10


2 Responses to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dieterle, Reinhardt, 1935)”

  1. Kyle King Says:

    Shakespeare is way overrated. A lot of my professors worshipped him and took his every word as Scripture, so that might be some of what turned me off. I do like him, and there is some amazing poetry in there, but other people have used words a lot better, for my money.

    So Mickey Rooney plays Puck? Wow. That’s almost as good as Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing.

    • chrisfilm Says:

      Heheh, yeah, I had no idea it was Rooney until afterwards though. I would have thought it was just some weird kid who never had another role in his life.

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