Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Hollow Crown (1960, Michael Hayes)

TitleThe Hollow Crown
Release LocationsGB
DirectorMichael Hayes
MediumBlack & white video
Length1 hrs
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsRichard II (teleplay)
SeriesAn Age of Kings


Based on Acts 1-3 of King Richard II. An Age of Kings was an ambitious and expensive undertaking that set out to do something on tv that could not be done on stage or film. Its 15 parts covered the events in Shakespeare's "major" tetralogy (R2, 1&2H4, H5) and minor tetralogy (1-3H6 and R3). For other segments in this series, see also numbers 156-9, 178-9, 185, 188, 190-2, 486, and 505-6). In the United States the series played for 15 weeks on some 61 tv stations, including WNEW/NY. Producer Peter Dews grappled with casting some 600 parts for the sprawling, epical dramas. Actual rehearsals and filming took thirty weeks. In electing to present the plays in the order of their historical chronology rather than in the order in which Shakespeare wrote them, the director gained clarity. To do otherwise would be analogous to first dramatizing the American Civil War and then subsequently the American Revolution. The drawback, however, was that many persons felt let down when the apprentice minor tetralogy, spanning the years 1422 to 1485, followed the artistically mature major tetralogy, covering the period from 1390 to 1422. Milton Crane aptly remarked that it was a little bit like seeing Titus after Hamlet ("Shakespeare on Television." SQ 12.3 [Summer 1961]: 323-27). Standard Oil of N.J. sponsored it

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

Richard IIDavid William
GauntEdgar Wreford
EdmundGeoffrey Bayldon
BolingbrokeTom Fleming
AumerleJohn Greenwood
MowbrayNoel Johnson
SalisburyLeon Shepperdson
BerkeleyJohn Ringham
BushyDavid Andrews
BagotTerence Lodge
GreenJerome Willis
NorthumberlandGeorge Cooper
HotspurSean Connery
RossAlan Rowe
WilloughbyGordon Gostelow
CarlisleFrank Windsor
MarshalJulian Glover
ScroopPatrick Garland
QueenJuliet Cooke
CastEileen Atkins
CastMaggie Barton
ServantBrian Smith
CastAnthony Valentine

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorMichael Hayes
ProducerPeter Dews
ComposerArthur Bliss
ComposerChristopher Whelen
Adaptor/TranslatorEric Crozier
ConductorLionel Salter
ProductionStanley Morris

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell