Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Taming of the Shrew (1929, Sam Taylor)

TitleThe Taming of the Shrew
Release LocationsUSA
DirectorSam Taylor
Length1 hrs, 8 mins
Audiencecollege and university
general public
high school
Play ConnectionsThe Taming of the Shrew (adaptation)


Released as a silent in 1929, the film's dialogue was subsequently dubbed in. It was re-released in 1966 with a new music score and sound track. Its historical distinction arises from its status as the first talking Shakespeare film in English. Few actors could match Douglas Fairbanks for swaggering bravado, and his co-starring with Mary Pickford as Kate guaranteed the film's popularity, which is now pretty much out of circulation. The critics, who forgot that Shrew is a rollicking farce, not a sacerdotal text like King Lear, were very hard on it. Director Sam Taylor was solemnly excoriated for his facetious credit line "with additional dialogue by William Shakespeare." The Library of Congress print that I screened doesn't have this cheeky quip (KSR)

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

KatherineMary Pickford
BiancaDorothy Jordon
BaptistaEdwin Maxwell
PetruchioDouglas Fairbanks
GremioJoseph Cawthorn
HortensioGeoffrey Wardell
GrumioClyde Cook

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorSam Taylor
EditorAlan McNeill
Adaptor/TranslatorSam Taylor
PhotographyKarl Struss
Production StaffEarl Browne
Production StaffLucky Humberstone
ProductionLawrence Irving
Production StaffWalter Mayo
ProductionWilliam Cameron Menzies
Re-release StaffMatty Kemp
Re-release StaffJohn F. Link

Company Overview

Producer Pickford/Elton Corp

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell