Friday, April 28, 2023

Shakespearean Quotations in The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas
. Dir. Henry Selick. Perf. Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Ken Page, and Catherine O'Hara. DVD. Touchstone, 2018.

I hope the title of this post isn't too misleading. Looking it over, it seems to suggest that there are multiple Shakespearean quotations in the conceived–by–Tim Burton film.

Really, it's just a line about Shakespearean quotations in the middle of a song that the main character, Jack Skellington, sings when he's reflecting on how empty Halloween has become for him.

But we also get a classic "Hamlet with Yorick's Skull" pose along with the line.  Enjoy (even if this post's title should really be "Shakespearean Quotations" in The Nightmare Before Christmas)! 


Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Little More Shakespeare in Hee Haw

Hee Haw
. Fl. 1969–1971. Details for these clips uncertain / Blogger too lazy to track them down. But cf. "Shakespeare in
Hee Haw" for the general kind of information you might need or expect.

I posted something on how Shakespeare made his way into Hee Haw a while ago (see the link above for that post), but I found a little more to add.

The clip below draws from two episodes of the show and two Shakespeare plays. First, we'll have a take on Julius Caesar—the part where Calpurnia tries to dissuade Caesar from going to the Capitol. Next, we'll have a quick examination of a line from Romeo and Juliet.

And there you have it! 

Click below to purchase some Hee Haw from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Prince of Players

Prince of Players
. Dir. 
Philip Dunne. Perf. Richard Burton, Maggie McNamara, John Derek, and Raymond Massey. 1955. DVD. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2016.
On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth died. And that makes Prince of Players an appropriate film to watch today.

The film is about the famous Family Booth—well-known actors in the mid-1800s. Junius Brutus Booth was the father. After acting in England, he made his way to America. Eventually, he and son Edwin Thomas Booth performed in what we would call the Wild West. Another son, John Wilkes Booth, was also an actor. Eventually, he would also become an assassin.

Prince of Players focuses on Edwin's rise to prominence as one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of his age. He's deeply in love with Mary Devlin, his wife, but he's also afraid that he has inherited more than a reputation of a good actor from his father: He worries that he has inherited his father's alcoholism as well.

I've extracted three clips as demonstrative of the film. In the first, a drunken Junius Brutus Booth, having been dragged back from the pub to the theatre by his young son Edwin, quiets the riotous crowd, declaring that they will have to wait—but his Lear will be worth it. (As a side note, it isn't. He's too far gone in drink to carry it off.)

The next scene shows Edwin Booth, years later, delivering a similar speech to a riotous crowd who has learned that the actor playing Richard III is not Junius Brutus Booth but Edwin Booth. That speech is followed by Edwin's delivery of the opening speech from Richard III. (As a side note, I think I'd pay good money to have Richard Burton read anything from randomly-generated text to the phone book. That voice!)

Finally, we have the scene where Edwin meets Mary Devlin for the first time—when he's been summoned from a . . . well, let's just call it a pub, shall we? . . . to the theatre for a rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet.

The film, as a whole, is quite good—though it does cross over into excessive sentimentality at points. And John Wilkes Booth and his evil deed (and his eventual death) are included.

Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest