Saturday, March 8, 2008

How Long does it Take to Tame a Shrew?

Shrewishness Chart.

X Axis = Shrew.
Y Axis = Minutes to Tame.

Richard Burton took 122 minutes to tame Elizabeth Taylor in the 1967 Zeffirelli film.

Douglas Fairbanks took 63 minutes to tame Mary Pickford in the 1929 Sam Taylor film.

Arthur V. Johnson took 11 minutes to tame Florence Lawrence in the 1908 D. W. Griffith film.

Heath Ledger took 97 minutes to tame Julia Stiles in the 1999 Ten Things I Hate About You (unless Stiles was actually taming Ledger there).

John Cleese took 127 minutes to tame Sarah Badel in the 1980 BBC version directed by Jonathan Miller.

Howard Keel's Fred Graham's Petruchio took 109 minutes to tame Kathryn Grayson's Lilli Vanessi's Katherine (though part of that time was Howard Keel's Fred Graham trying to tame Kathryn Grayson's Lilli Vanessi) in the 1953 Kiss me, Kate.

Shakespeare Retold's Rufus Sewell took 90 minutes to tame Shakespeare Retold's Shirley Henderson.

Shakespeare: The Animated Tales managed the taming in 26 minutes.

Two conclusions (at least!) can be drawn from this information (graphically demonstrated in the "Chart o' Shrewishness" above):
  1. Elizabeth Taylor and Sarah Badel are the Shrewishest Katherines in the cinema.

  2. Richard Burton and John Cleese are the least-effective Shrew Tamers in the cinema.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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