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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $26.65
  • December 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92765-8
  • 272 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Shakespeare and Film

A Norton Guide


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Samuel Crowl (Author, Ohio University)


A lively, concise introduction to film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays from the silent era to the present, Shakespeare and Film pays particular attention to the most influential directors' cinematic portrayals of the plays, offering insightful close readings of the elements of film—camera work, editing, music, acting, montage, among others—that students can use as models for their own writing and analysis.

The book also includes a glossary of film and critical terminology as well as annotated selected bibliographies and filmographies.


Endorsements & Reviews

“For teachers who have found their casual references to dolly shots and whip pans met with stupefied gazes, Shakespeare and Film will seem an answer to a pedagogical prayer.” — Todd Borlick, Literature/Film Quarterly

“Crowl’s prose is pitched perfectly to the undergraduate ear: limpid, but not platitudinous, authoritative, yet never condescending.” — Todd Borlick, Literature/Film Quarterly

Close readings are "models of performance criticism at its best."*

Through close readings of film scenes, Crowl explains film concepts or directorial styles in lively prose that keeps his undergraduate audience in mind. These analyses also function as models for students who are learning how to use close readings in their own essays. (*Douglas Lanier, University of New Hampshire)

Key elements of film clearly explained.

Any analysis of film requires an understanding of film elements such as camera work, editing, and music. Shakespeare and Film introduces students to these elements and shows how they work together in a filmmaker's interpretation of Shakespeare.

A flexible, brief text.

With modular chapters that span the history of Shakespeare on screen, Shakespeare and Film works well as a core text. At only 200 pages, it is also an ideal supplement to the Shakespeare plays, a reader of film criticism, or a film textbook.

Features extended discussions of scenes from over 40 film and television productions of the plays.

Special emphasis is given to the films of Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Roman Polanski, Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrmann, Michael Almereyda, Julie Taymor, Grigori Kozintsev, and Franco Zeffirelli, and to the television productions of Joseph Papp, Jonathan Miller, Trevor Nunn, and Richard Eyre.

Written by a distinguished film scholar and award-winning teacher.

Samuel Crowl, Trustee Professor of English at Ohio University, has long been a major figure in Shakespeare studies. The author of three previous books on Shakespeare and film, Crowl brings his award-winning teaching to undergraduate readers in Shakespeare and Film: A Norton Guide.



    To Students: A Brief Guide to Film Grammar and Rhetoric

    Part I: A Brief History of Shakespeare on Film

    1. Establishing Shot: History

    2. Close-up: Major Directors I: Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Kenneth Branagh

    3. Close-up: Major Directors II: Akira Kurosawa, Grigori Kozintsev, Franco Zeffirelli

    4. Long Shot: Television

    5. Wide Angle: The Films of the 1990s

    Part II: Analyzing Shakespeare on Film

    6. Auteurs and Actors: Camera, Editing, Music, and Acting

    7. Deep Focus: Text and Context

    8. Depth of Field: Text and Image

    9. Montage: Beginnings and Signature Shots

    10. Soliloquies and Scenes: Adapting Stage Conventions to the Screen


    A. Glossary of Film and Critical Terminology

    B. Selected Bibliography

    C. Selected Filmography