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Top 10 Adaptations That You Might Not Know Are Based On Shakespeare

As we celebrate St Geroge’s day, we kick off Shakespeare Fortnight with 10 films adapted from his work


William Shakespeare died (and might have been born) on St George’s Day. In celebration, the Snooty Ushers are having a Shakespeare Fortnight, celebrating the impact he has had on the world of cinema. To start off, we have put our heads to pick some of the best adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. So, here are ten of our favourite films based (in some cases, very loosely) on The Bard’s work.

Throne of Blood
(Akira Kurosawa, 1957)

throne of blood poster

A retelling of MacBeth set in feudal Japan.

Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956)

Forbidden planet poster
The Tempest is relocated to a distant planet in this landmark sci fi classic

West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961)

Romeo and Juliet is transplanted to a Manhattan split between American and Puerto Rican gangs

Warm Bodies (Jonathan Levine, 2013)

Warm Bodies
Romeo and Juliet… but Romeo is a zombie.

Gnomeo & Juliet (Jonathan Levine, 2013)

gnomeo & juliet
Romeo and Juliet… but Romeo is a garden gnome. And so is Juliet.

Romeo Must Die (Andrzej Bartkowiak, 1999)

Romeo Must Die
Romeo and Juliet… but Romeo is Jet Li and Juliet is Aaliyah.

(Tim Blake Nelson, 2001)

O poster
Othello is remade as a high school drama

She’s The Man (Andy Fickman, 2006)

she's the man poster
Twelfth Night’s gender swap comedy is placed in an elite boarding school’s football team

10 Things I Hate About You (Gil Junger, 1999)

10 things i hate about you

The Taming of the Shrew is updated to late nineties Seattle

The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)

lion king poster

Hamlet retold Disney style in the animal kingdom

A one line recap of each film? That’s a bit of a cop out, isn’t it? Well no, because over the next fortnight we’ll be re-viewing each of those films! We’re also going to be re-viewing some other Shakespeare-related films, and will be ending in true Snooty Usher style with a slight daft last article. It is going to be a fun two weeks!

Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.

that's all folks

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About James is Outta Bubblegum

Favourite Film: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


8 thoughts on “Top 10 Adaptations That You Might Not Know Are Based On Shakespeare

  1. Good list, and am glad to see here West Side Story. Some of them I will never consider “Shakesperian” adaptations, though, and where are Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Macbeth (2015)? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by dbmoviesblog | April 23, 2017, 13:42
    • Those are being saved for next year!

      The idea was for films loosely based on Shakespeare, rather than the more straight adaptations like Romeo + Juliet and Macbeth. The Ralph Fiennes/Gerard Butler Coriolanus is another recent one.

      Liked by 2 people

      Posted by Snooty Usher James | April 23, 2017, 18:10
  2. ohhh, I was wondering why The Merchant of Venice wasn’t on this list, this is a good list though

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Film Music Central | April 24, 2017, 18:08
  3. 56 Days, 56 Shakespeare adaptations?


    Posted by Snooty Usher Dave | April 25, 2017, 04:56
  4. Some of those were quite the surprise!


    Posted by daboogieblog | August 9, 2017, 15:11

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