Shakespeare's Plays

Recommended film adaptations

This list contains affiliate links. Some of these films are only available to buy as physical products, but the majority are available for immediate download and cost between two and five dollars to rent. 

 A Midsummer Night's Dream


A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) dir. Michael Hoffman w/ Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline, Calista Flockhart


Antony and Cleopatra


Antony and Cleopatra (1974) dir. Trevor Nunn, w/ Janet Suzman, Richard Johnson, Patrick Stewart, Colin Redgrave




Coriolanus (2011) dir. Ralph Fiennes, starring Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain, Vanessa Redgrave




Hamlet (2009) dir. Gregory Doran, w/ David Tennant, Patrick Stewart


Hamlet (1990) dir. Franco Zeffirelli, w/ Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield


Hamlet (1996) dir. and starring Kenneth Branagh, w/ Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, Billy Crystal


Henry V


Henry V (1989) dir. and starring Kenneth Branagh, Paul Scofield, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi


King Lear


King Lear (2008) dir. Trevor Nunn, starring Ian McKellen




Macbeth (2010) dir. Rupert Goold, w/ Patrick Stewart, Kate Fleetwood




Othello (1995) dir. Oliver Parker, w/ Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irène Jacob 


Richard III


Richard III (1995) dir. Richard Loncraine, w/ Ian McKellen, Annette Benning, Robert Downey Jr., Maggie Smith


Richard III (1955) dir. and starring Laurence Olivier, w/ Ralph Richardson, Claire Bloom


Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet (1968) dir. Franco Zeffirelli, w/ Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting


The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice (2004) dir. Michael Radford, w/ Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino


The Taming of the Shrew


The Taming of the Shrew (1967) dir. Franco Zeffirelli, w/ Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton 


Shakespeare's Globe productions

Shakespeare's Globe in London puts on fabulous plays and frequently films its performances. You can read about the history of The Globe Theater here. The following filmed performances are the best I have seen or are are simply the ones I enjoy the most.


Antony and Cleopatra (2012) dir. Kemal Aydogan in Turkish with English subtitles


Henry IV Part I (2010) dir. Dominic Dromgoole w/ Jamie Parker, Roger Allam DVD


Henry IV Part I (2010) dir. Dominic Dromgoole w/ Jamie Parker, Roger Allam Online RentalDVD


This page contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. The suggestions and recommendations I make are never influenced by advertisers or commercial initiatives.