Twelfth Night


2h 5m 1996

Brief Synopsis

A shipwreck has separated identical twins, Viola and Sebastian. Viola is cast ashore in Illyria where, believing Sebastian drowned and fearing for her own safety, she disguises herself as her brother. Taking the name Cesario, she is employed by the young Duke Orsino as the go-between in the courtshi

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Comedy
Period
Romance
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
1996
Distribution Company
FINE LINE/FINE LINE FEATURES
Location
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom; Devon, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m

Synopsis

A shipwreck has separated identical twins, Viola and Sebastian. Viola is cast ashore in Illyria where, believing Sebastian drowned and fearing for her own safety, she disguises herself as her brother. Taking the name Cesario, she is employed by the young Duke Orsino as the go-between in the courtship of the recently orphaned Countess Olivia. Orsino and Olivia become increasingly obsessed with the "boy"; Olivia falls in love and Orsino cannot be out of "his" company. Olivia's hapless wooer, Andrew Aguecheek, is none to happy with Cesario and a duel is called. Cesario is saved by a man who turns out to be her brother Sebastian. Eventually, Olivia marries the real boy, Sebastian, and Orsino discovers that Viola/Cesario is the girl of his dreams.

Crew

Stephanie Avery

Office Runner

Alex Bailey

Photography

Chris Bains

Camera Trainee

Johnnie Banford

Production Assistant

Libbie Barr

Script Supervisor

Liz Barron

Production Accountant

Sophie Becher

Production Designer

Lee Betts

Other

Chrissie Beveridge

Makeup

William Booker

Assistant Director

Alistair Boyd

Driver

Peter Boyle

Editor

John Bright

Costume Designer

Paul Brinkworth

Grip

Anthony Caccavale

Other

Julia Castle

Art Assistant

David Cheesman

Props

Cleone Clark

Assistant

Marc Cooper

Line Producer

Steve Costello

Gaffer

Paul Cridlin

Boom Operator

Paul Cronin

Electrician

David Crozier

Sound Recordist

Shaun Davey

Music

Gillian Dawes

Production Coordinator

Adam Edsall

Office Runner

Stephen Evans

Producer

Ricky Eyres

Art Director

Marianne Ford

Set Decorator

Karen Gilbert

Other

John Greaves

Storyboard Artist

Charles Green

Other

Pier Hausemer

Production Assistant

David Hindle

Art Director

Joe Hobbs

Wardrobe

Yvonne Hobbs

Wardrobe

Rebecca Holmes

Assistant Art Director

Sue Honeyborne

Assistant Costume Designer

Philomena Hooper

Other

John Hurst

Props

Sean Kiely

Other

George King

Production

Martin Kingsley

Property Master

Barry Leonti

Other

Julie Linnane

Accounting Assistant

Colin Lovering

Other

Dave Lowery

Carpenter

Marylee Macnulty

Assistant

Anthony Mcgee

Carpenter

John Mcgee

Carpenter

David Moore

Best Boy

Trevor Nunn

Screenplay

Gavin Oram

Driver

David Parfitt

Producer

Dave Pearce

Carpenter

Keith Pitt

Props

Emma Pounds

Assistant Director

Steve Roberts

Electrician

Simon Saunders

Other

William Shakespeare

Play As Source Material

Greg Smith

Executive Producer

Jonathan Sykes

Other

Dean Thompson

Other

Clive Tickner

Director Of Photography

Guy Travers

Assistant Director

Nick Turnbull

Props

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Comedy
Period
Romance
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
1996
Distribution Company
FINE LINE/FINE LINE FEATURES
Location
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom; Devon, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m

Articles

Helena Bonham Carter in Twelfth Night (1996)


Now available from Image Home Entertainment is Twelfth Night (1996), a film based on the screwball comedy written by William Shakespeare. This Fine Line Features production has been available for a while on DVD in Europe, but has only recently been released in North America.

A brief recap of the plot, for those who napped during high school English Lit: A shipwreck off the coast of Illyria causes the separation of twins, Viola (Imogen Stubbs) and Sebastian (Stephen Macintosh) who now each believe the other to have drowned in the violent storm. Once on shore, Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario and finds employ with Orsino, the Duke of Illyria (Toby Stephens). A local noblewoman named Olivia (Helena Bonham Carter), having recently lost her father and brother has decided to enter into a seven-year period of mourning, repeatedly rejects the advances of the lovesick Duke. Cesario becomes go-between in this unrequited affair while simultaneously becoming more intimately attached to each of the parties in separate ways. Sebastian also eventually appears on the scene and, complicating matters even further, is constantly mistaken for Cesario.

The film was mounted by Trevor Nunn, for 20 years a mainstay of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He brings to the material a fresh perspective that puts the comedic events in the late Victorian-era, a choice that makes the story more contemporary without forcing the effort. Nunn's best contributions come in the casting department. There is real chemistry between Imogene Stubbs and Helena Bonham Carter (whose film debut was in Nunn's Lady Jane in 1986). Bonham Carter obeys the cardinal rule of comedy by playing it straight, thus making hers one of the funniest performances in the film as she straddles the thin line between romance and comedy. The exemplary supporting work is dominated by Ben Kingsley and Nigel Hawthorne. Kingsley plays the troubadour Feste, while Hawthorne (who played the title role in The Madness of King George) is the stuffy, snobby, love-sick Malvolio, Olivia's chief of staff, who convinces himself Olivia loves him. Swollen with his self-importance, proud that he is impervious to the failings of mortals, he falls hard in typically Shakespearean fashion. It is the genius of Billy Bob Shakespeare that we feel pity for Malvolio, even though he plays the only real bad guy in the story. But the movie's key player is Imogene Stubbs, who was Emma Thompson's rival in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility. While the knowledge that Stubbs is actually a woman is never too far from her performance, Stubbs channels the comedy not through any suspension of our own disbelief, but the absurdity of the need to suspend our disbelief. In other words, why try to convince you the lead character is a man when it's obvious she's a she?

Filmed on National Trust properties in Cornwall--at Lanhydrock House, Prideaux Place, St. Michael's Mount, Cothele, Trebarwith Strand, Trerice, Mount Edgecumbe and Bedruthen Steps--the sumptuous locations help to capture the Celtic magic of this version of the tale which is dressed in the styles of the 1890's. The rich production design by Sophie Becher lends a great deal to the film, as does the vivid photography by Clive Tickner and costumes by John Bright.

Twelfth Night is easily one of the best Shakespeare adaptations put to screen, and would be an easy choice to introduce some willing high schooler to the world of Shakespeare.

For more information about Twelfth Night, visit Image Entertainment. To order Twelfth Night, go to TCM Shopping.

by Scott McGee
Helena Bonham Carter In Twelfth Night (1996)

Helena Bonham Carter in Twelfth Night (1996)

Now available from Image Home Entertainment is Twelfth Night (1996), a film based on the screwball comedy written by William Shakespeare. This Fine Line Features production has been available for a while on DVD in Europe, but has only recently been released in North America. A brief recap of the plot, for those who napped during high school English Lit: A shipwreck off the coast of Illyria causes the separation of twins, Viola (Imogen Stubbs) and Sebastian (Stephen Macintosh) who now each believe the other to have drowned in the violent storm. Once on shore, Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario and finds employ with Orsino, the Duke of Illyria (Toby Stephens). A local noblewoman named Olivia (Helena Bonham Carter), having recently lost her father and brother has decided to enter into a seven-year period of mourning, repeatedly rejects the advances of the lovesick Duke. Cesario becomes go-between in this unrequited affair while simultaneously becoming more intimately attached to each of the parties in separate ways. Sebastian also eventually appears on the scene and, complicating matters even further, is constantly mistaken for Cesario. The film was mounted by Trevor Nunn, for 20 years a mainstay of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He brings to the material a fresh perspective that puts the comedic events in the late Victorian-era, a choice that makes the story more contemporary without forcing the effort. Nunn's best contributions come in the casting department. There is real chemistry between Imogene Stubbs and Helena Bonham Carter (whose film debut was in Nunn's Lady Jane in 1986). Bonham Carter obeys the cardinal rule of comedy by playing it straight, thus making hers one of the funniest performances in the film as she straddles the thin line between romance and comedy. The exemplary supporting work is dominated by Ben Kingsley and Nigel Hawthorne. Kingsley plays the troubadour Feste, while Hawthorne (who played the title role in The Madness of King George) is the stuffy, snobby, love-sick Malvolio, Olivia's chief of staff, who convinces himself Olivia loves him. Swollen with his self-importance, proud that he is impervious to the failings of mortals, he falls hard in typically Shakespearean fashion. It is the genius of Billy Bob Shakespeare that we feel pity for Malvolio, even though he plays the only real bad guy in the story. But the movie's key player is Imogene Stubbs, who was Emma Thompson's rival in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility. While the knowledge that Stubbs is actually a woman is never too far from her performance, Stubbs channels the comedy not through any suspension of our own disbelief, but the absurdity of the need to suspend our disbelief. In other words, why try to convince you the lead character is a man when it's obvious she's a she? Filmed on National Trust properties in Cornwall--at Lanhydrock House, Prideaux Place, St. Michael's Mount, Cothele, Trebarwith Strand, Trerice, Mount Edgecumbe and Bedruthen Steps--the sumptuous locations help to capture the Celtic magic of this version of the tale which is dressed in the styles of the 1890's. The rich production design by Sophie Becher lends a great deal to the film, as does the vivid photography by Clive Tickner and costumes by John Bright. Twelfth Night is easily one of the best Shakespeare adaptations put to screen, and would be an easy choice to introduce some willing high schooler to the world of Shakespeare. For more information about Twelfth Night, visit Image Entertainment. To order Twelfth Night, go to TCM Shopping. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Expanded Release in United States November 1, 1996

Expanded Release in United States November 8, 1996

Limited Release in United States October 25, 1996

Released in United States 1996

Released in United States Fall October 25, 1996

Released in United States October 1996

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1997

Released in United States September 1996

Shown at Boston Film Festival September 6-19, 1996.

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (in competition) October 10-20, 1996.

Shown at Hamptons International Film Festival East Hampton, New York October 16-20, 1996.

Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 3-13, 1996.

Shown at San Sebastian Film Festival September 19-28, 1996.

Entertainment Film Distributers may acquire the film for theatrical distribution in the U.K.

Began shooting October 25, 1995.

Completed shooting December 21, 1995.

William Shakespeare's play has been adapted to film at least twice before: directed by Y Fried (USSR/1956) and Neil Armfield (Australia/1986).

Released in United States 1996 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival August 30 - September 2, 1996.)

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1997

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown at Boston Film Festival September 6-19, 1996.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown at San Sebastian Film Festival September 19-28, 1996.)

Released in United States October 1996 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (in competition) October 10-20, 1996.)

Released in United States October 1996 (Shown at Hamptons International Film Festival East Hampton, New York October 16-20, 1996.)

Released in United States October 1996 (Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 3-13, 1996.)

Limited Release in United States October 25, 1996

Released in United States Fall October 25, 1996

Expanded Release in United States November 1, 1996

Expanded Release in United States November 8, 1996