Adapted from William Shakespeare, the film tells the story of two couples--confirmed bachelor Benedick and caustic Beatrice, and young Claudio and innocent Hero. Playful bickering defines one couple, whereas romance and betrayal describe the other.

  • 1 hr 51 minPG13HDSD
  • May 7, 1993
  • Comedy

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Cast & Crew

  • Emma ThompsonActor

    Emma Thompson was born on April 15, 1959 in Paddington, London, into a family of actors - father Eric Thompson and mother Phyllida Law, who has co-starred with Thompson in several films. Her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well. Her father was English-born and her mother is Scottish-born. Thompson's wit was cultivated by a cheerful, clever, creative family atmosphere, and she was a popular and successful student. She attended Cambridge University, studying English Literature, and was part of the university's Footlights Group, the famous group where, previously, many of the Monty Python members had first met. Thompson graduated in 1980 and embarked on her career in entertainment, beginning with stints on BBC radio and touring with comedy shows. She soon got her first major break in television, on the comedy skit program Alfresco (1983), writing and performing along with her fellow Footlights Group alums Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. She also worked on other TV comedy review programs in the mid-1980s, occasionally with some of her fellow Footlights alums, and often with actor Robbie Coltrane. Thompson found herself collaborating again with Fry in 1985, this time in his stage adaptation of the play "Me and My Girl" in London's West End, in which she had a leading role, playing Sally Smith. The show was a success and she received favorable reviews, and the strength of her performance led to her casting as the lead in the BBC television miniseries Fortunes of War (1987), in which Thompson and her co-star, Kenneth Branagh, play an English ex-patriate couple living in Eastern Europe as the Second World War erupts. Thompson won a BAFTA Award for her work on the program. She married Branagh in 1989, continued to work with him professionally, and formed a production company with him. In the late 80s and early 90s, she starred in a string of well-received and successful television and film productions, most notably her lead role in the Merchant-Ivory production of Howards End (1992), which confirmed her ability to carry a movie on both sides of the Atlantic and appropriately showered her with trans-Atlantic honors - both an Oscar and a BAFTA award. Since then, Thompson has continued to move effortlessly between the art film world and mainstream Hollywood, though even her Hollywood roles tend to be in more up-market productions. She continues to work on television as well, but is generally very selective about which roles she takes. She writes for the screen as well, such as the screenplay for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995), in which she also starred as Elinor Dashwood, and the teleplay adaptation of Margaret Edson's acclaimed play Wit (2001), in which she also starred. Thompson is known for her sophisticated, skillful, though her critics say somewhat mannered, performances, and of course for her arch wit, which she is unafraid to point at herself - she is a fearless self-satirist. Thompson and Branagh divorced in 1994, and Thompson is now married to fellow actor Greg Wise, who had played Willoughby in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995). Thompson and Wise have one child, Gaia, born in 1999.
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  • Kenneth BranaghActor

    Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family escaped The Troubles by moving to Reading, Berkshire, England. At 23, Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he took on starring roles in "Henry V" and "Romeo and Juliet". He soon found the RSC too large and impersonal and formed his own, the Renaissance Theatre Company, which now counts Prince Charles as one of its royal patrons. At 29, he directed Henry V (1989), where he also co-starred with his then-wife, Emma Thompson. The film brought him Best Actor and Best Director Oscar nominations. In 1993, he brought Shakespeare to mainstream audiences again with his hit adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (1993), which featured an all-star cast that included, among others, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton and Keanu Reeves. At 30, he published his autobiography and, at 34, he directed and starred as "Victor Frankenstein" in the big-budget adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), with Robert De Niro as the monster himself. In 1996, Branagh wrote, directed and starred in a lavish adaptation of Hamlet (1996). His superb film acting work also includes a wide range of roles such as in Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), The Road to El Dorado (2000), Valkyrie (2008) and his stunning portrayal of Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn (2011), where once again he offered a great performance that was also nominated for an Academy Award.
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  • Michael KeatonActor

    Quirky, inventive and handsome American actor Michael Keaton first achieved major fame with his door-busting performance as fast-talking ideas man Bill Blazejowski, alongside a nerdish morgue attendant (Henry Winkler), in Night Shift (1982). He played further comedic roles in Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984), and Beetlejuice (1988), earned further acclaim for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and since then, has moved easily between film genres, ranging from drama and romantic comedy to thriller and action. Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5, 1951 in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, to Leona Elizabeth (Loftus), a homemaker, and George A. Douglas, a civil engineer and surveyor. He is of Irish, as well as English, Scottish, and German, descent. Michael studied speech for two years at Kent State, before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh. An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman in a cable station, and he came to realize he wanted to work in front of the cameras. Keaton first appeared on TV in several episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968). He left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles to begin auditioning for TV. He began cropping up in popular TV shows including Maude (1972) and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour (1979). Around this time, Keaton decided to use an alternative surname to remove confusion with better-known actor Michael Douglas. After reading an article on actress Diane Keaton, he decided that Michael Keaton sounded good. His next break was scoring a co-starring role alongside Jim Belushi in the short-lived comedy series Working Stiffs (1979), which showcased his comedic talent and led to his co-starring role in Night Shift (1982). Keaton next scored the lead in the comedy hits Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) , Gung Ho (1986), the Tim Burton horror-comedy Beetlejuice (1988), and The Dream Team (1989). Keaton's career was given another major boost when he was again cast by Tim Burton, this time as the title comic book superhero, millionaire playboy / crime-fighter Bruce Wayne, in Batman (1989). Burton cast him because he thought that Keaton was the only actor who could portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character demands. To say there were howls of protest by fans of the caped crusader comic strip is an understatement! Warner Bros. was deluged with thousands of letters of complaint commenting that comedian Keaton was the wrong choice for the Caped Crusader, given his prior work and the fact that he lacked the suave, handsome features and tall, muscular physicality often attributed to the character in the comic books. However, their fears were proven wrong when Keaton turned in a sensational performance, and he held his own on screen with opponent Jack Nicholson, playing the lunatic villain, "The Joker". Keaton's dramatic work earned widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman (1989) became one of the most successful films of the year. Keaton remained active during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films. Keen to diversify his work, Keaton starred as a psychotic tenant in Pacific Heights (1990), as a hard-working cop in One Good Cop (1991), and then donned the black cape and cowl once more for Batman Returns (1992). He remained in demand during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films, including the star-studded Shakespearian Much Ado About Nothing (1993), the drama My Life (1993), another Ron Howard comedy The Paper (1994), with sexy Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity (1996), twice in the same role, dogged Elmore Leonard character Agent Ray Nicolette, in Jackie Brown (1997) and Out of Sight (1998). He also played a killer in the mediocre thriller Desperate Measures (1998). In the 2000s, Keaton appeared in several productions with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad (2002), First Daughter (2004), and Herbie Fully Loaded (2005). He also provided voices for characters in the animated films Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Minions (2015). He returned to major film roles in the 2010s, co-starring in The Other Guys (2010), RoboCop (2014) and Need for Speed (2014). Also that year, Keaton starred alongside Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), a film by 21 Grams (2003) and Biutiful (2010) director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. In the film, Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a screen actor, famous for playing the iconic titular superhero, who puts on a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story, to regain his former glory. Keaton's critically praised lead performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, and nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award, and Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2015, he played a journalist in Spotlight (2015), which, like Birdman, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2016, he starred as Ray Kroc, the developer of McDonald's, in the drama The Founder (2016). He is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.
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  • Phyllida LawActor

  • Robert Sean LeonardActor

  • Richard BriersActor

  • Ben EltonActor

  • Brian BlessedActor

    Boisterous British actor Brian Blessed is known for his hearty, king-sized portrayals on film and television. A giant of a man accompanied by an eloquent wit and booming, operatic voice, Brian was born in 1936 and grew up in the mining village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire. His father was a miner who wanted a better life for his son; Brian lost three uncles in the pit. At a young age, he displayed an acute talent for acting in school productions, but also had a penchant for boxing, a direction that would be short-lived. Working various blue-collar jobs from undertaker's assistant to plasterer, Brian managed to attend the Bristol Old Vic and was off and running. He has lent his musical talents to several productions - from playing "Old Deuteronomy" in "Cats" to "The Baron" in the more recent "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". In the 1970s, he began appearing more and more on-camera with both classical and contemporary performances. In costumed television movies, he has played "Porthos" in The Three Musketeers (1966) and The Further Adventures of the Musketeers (1967), "Augustus" in I, Claudius (1976), and "Long John Silver" in Return to Treasure Island (1986) and has been a part of various reenactments including Catherine the Great (1995), Lady Chatterley (1993), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983) and Kidnapped (1995). On film, he has appeared in robust support in several William Shakespeare adaptations, including Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996) and Macbeth (1997). He is married to British actress Hildegard Neil, who made an appearance with him in Macbeth (1997). More recently, he appeared in Oliver Stone's epic-scale Alexander (2004) and in Kenneth Branagh's film version of William Shakespeare's As You Like It (2006).
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  • Denzel WashingtonActor

    Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University, intent on a career in journalism. However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions and, upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater. He left A.C.T. after only one year to seek work as an actor. His first paid acting role was in a summer stock theater stage production in St. Mary's City, Maryland. The play was "Wings of the Morning", which is about the founding of the colony of Maryland (now the state of Maryland) and the early days of the Maryland colonial assembly (a legislative body). He played the part of a real historical character, Mathias Da Sousa, although much of the dialogue was created. Afterwards he began to pursue screen roles in earnest. With his acting versatility and powerful presence, he had no difficulty finding work in numerous television productions. He made his first big screen appearance in Carbon Copy (1981) with George Segal. Through the 1980s, he worked in both movies and television and was chosen for the plum role of Dr. Philip Chandler in NBC's hit medical series St. Elsewhere (1982), a role that he would play for six years. In 1989, his film career began to take precedence when he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Tripp, the runaway slave in Edward Zwick's powerful historical masterpiece Glory (1989). Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom (1987), Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane (1999), football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), and drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007). Malcolm X and The Hurricane garnered him Oscar nominations for Best Actor, before he finally won that statuette in 2002 for his lead role in Training Day (2001). Through the 1990s, Denzel also co-starred in such big budget productions as The Pelican Brief (1993), Philadelphia (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), The Preacher's Wife (1996), and Courage Under Fire (1996), a role for which he was paid $10 million. He continued to define his onscreen persona as the tough, no-nonsense hero through the 2000s in films like Out of Time (2003), Man on Fire (2004), Inside Man (2006), and The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Cerebral and meticulous in his film work, he made his debut as a director with Antwone Fisher (2002); he also directed The Great Debaters (2007) and Fences (2016). In 2010, Washington headlined The Book of Eli (2010), a post-Apocalyptic drama. Later that year, he starred as a veteran railroad engineer in the action film Unstoppable (2010), about an unmanned, half-mile-long runaway freight train carrying dangerous cargo. The film was his fifth and final collaboration with director Tony Scott, following Crimson Tide (1995), Man on Fire (2004), Déjà Vu (2006) and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. He has also been a featured actor in the films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and has been a frequent collaborator of director Spike Lee. In 2012, Washington starred in Flight (2012), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He co-starred with Ryan Reynolds in Safe House (2012), and prepared for his role by subjecting himself to a torture session that included waterboarding. In 2013, Washington starred in 2 Guns (2013), alongside Mark Ryan Walberg. In 2014, he starred in The Equalizer (2014), an action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the television series of same name starring Edward Woodward. During this time period, he also took on the role of producer for some of his films, including The Book of Eli and Safe House. In 2016, he was selected as the recipient for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Pauletta Washington, and their four children.
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  • Imelda StauntonActor

    Imelda Staunton was born on January 9, 1956 in Archway, London, England as Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton. She is an actress, known for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Vera Drake (2004). She has been married to Jim Carter since October 1983. They have one child.
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