Home Productions Film: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Film: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Max Reinhardt’s 1935 film, featuring a stellar cast including James Cagney, Victor Jory and Olivia de Havilland

Thursday 22 June, 2.30pm

Tickets £7.00

Part of the Aldeburgh Festival season

Directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle (1935)

Extravagant by any standards, the action is set in a vast, ethereal forest of Arden entirely constructed on a Hollywood sound stage. The stellar cast, notably James Cagney (Bottom), Victor Jory (Oberon) and Olivia de Havilland (Hermia) had never performed Shakespeare, giving a touching free-form style to the intricacies of the verse. Korngold’s finely orchestrated Mendelssohn score and Nijinska’s eerily impressive fairy dance sequences were highly praised by critics at the time. The early visual effects still have a charm of their own, even though there’s something of the ‘rude mechanical’ about them.