Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Selected Sonnets by Shakespeare (1984)

TitleSelected Sonnets by Shakespeare
Release LocationsGB
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 30 mins
Audiencecollege and university
high school
Play ConnectionsThe Sonnets (performance)
SeriesShakespearean Studies on Video and Film


An educational program that gives an in-depth analysis of fifteen of Shakespeare's sonnets. The sonnets are #8 ("Music to hear, why hears't thou music sadly?"); #18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?); #25 ("Let those who are in favor with their stars"); #35 ("No more be griev'd at that which thou hast done"); #53 ("What is your substance, whereof are you made?"); #64 ("When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced"); #65 ("Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea"); #66 ("Tir'd with all these, for restless death I cry"); #87 ("Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing"); #91 ("Some glory in their birth, some in their skill"); #94 ("They that have pow'r to hurt and will do none"); #107 ("Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul"; #127 ("In the old age, black was not counted fair"); #128 ("How oft when thou, my music, music plays't"); #144 ("Two loves I have of comfort and despair"). Performers include such famous actors as Ben Kingsley, Roger Rees, Claire Bloom and Jane Lapotaire. Critics who comment include A.L. Rowse, Leslie Fiedler, Stephen Spender, Gore Vidal, Arnold Wesker, Nicholas Humphrey and Roy Strong

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

Critic, Sonnet #8Martin Best
CastClaire Bloom
Critic, Sonnets #18, #144Leslie Fiedler
Critic, Sonnets #53, #87Nicholas Humphrey
CastBen Kingsley
PerformersJane Lapotaire
Critic, Sonnet #94John Mortimer
CastRoger Rees
Critic, Sonnets #25, #127A. L. Rowse
Critic, Sonnet #65Stephen Spender
Critic, Sonnets #91, #107Sir Roy Strong
Critic, Sonnet #128D. M. Thomas
Critic, Sonnets #35, #64Gore Vidal
Critic, Sonnet #66Arnold Wesker

Production Team and Crew Overview

ProducerDavid Susskind
Adaptor/TranslatorGeorge Bernard Shaw
ProductionReece Pemberton

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell