A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

132 mins | Fantasy | 30 October 1935

Cinematographers:

Hal Mohr, Ernest Haller

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Anton Grot

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Olivia de Havilland, whose name was misspelled on the screen as "Oliva de Haviland," was given the role of Hermia in Max Reinhardt's Hollywood Bowl production of the play after he saw her in a small production of the play in Saratoga. She was originally hired as the understudy and replaced Gloria Stuart when she was unable to go on because of illness. Studio records indicate that Bette Davis was a candidate for the part of Hermia. Despite Reinhardt's preference for Cagney for the role of Bottom, the studio wanted Guy Kibbee. Mickey Rooney broke his leg before production started and he had to be filmed moving on a tricycle behind the scenery. Studio records indicate that Ernest Haller began as the film's cinematographer but was replaced by Hal Mohr. A news item in DV notes that publicity depended heavily on still photographs. Over 1,500 stills were taken. News items in DV note that a restraining order was issued which barred Reinhardt from participating in any directing activities on a motion filed by a French theatrical firm which charged that Reinhardt breached his contract with them. In the meantime, William Dieterle had full charge of the set--Reinhardt was not even allowed to be on the sidelines. The restraining order was lifted about a week later when a judge found in favor of Reinhardt. According to DV , Warner Bros. was "unofficially notified" that the picture would be banned in Germany as Reinhardt and Mendelssohn were both considered undesirables. Reinhardt was a famous European theatrical producer. A Jew, he left Hitler's Germany for the United States but never ... More Less

Olivia de Havilland, whose name was misspelled on the screen as "Oliva de Haviland," was given the role of Hermia in Max Reinhardt's Hollywood Bowl production of the play after he saw her in a small production of the play in Saratoga. She was originally hired as the understudy and replaced Gloria Stuart when she was unable to go on because of illness. Studio records indicate that Bette Davis was a candidate for the part of Hermia. Despite Reinhardt's preference for Cagney for the role of Bottom, the studio wanted Guy Kibbee. Mickey Rooney broke his leg before production started and he had to be filmed moving on a tricycle behind the scenery. Studio records indicate that Ernest Haller began as the film's cinematographer but was replaced by Hal Mohr. A news item in DV notes that publicity depended heavily on still photographs. Over 1,500 stills were taken. News items in DV note that a restraining order was issued which barred Reinhardt from participating in any directing activities on a motion filed by a French theatrical firm which charged that Reinhardt breached his contract with them. In the meantime, William Dieterle had full charge of the set--Reinhardt was not even allowed to be on the sidelines. The restraining order was lifted about a week later when a judge found in favor of Reinhardt. According to DV , Warner Bros. was "unofficially notified" that the picture would be banned in Germany as Reinhardt and Mendelssohn were both considered undesirables. Reinhardt was a famous European theatrical producer. A Jew, he left Hitler's Germany for the United States but never made another movie. He earned his living by running a drama school in Hollywood. Composer Erich Korngold was another ex-expatriate. He remained at Warner Bros. where he became one of their resident composers. According to Hal Wallis' autobiography, when the forest that Reinhardt designed could not be lit effectively, Mohr thinned the trees, sprayed them with aluminium paint and covered them with cobwebs and tiny metal particles that reflected the light. As a result of his work, he became the first write-in winner of an Academy Award. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture and Ralph Dawson received the Oscar for editing. According to Kenneth Anger, he played the changeling boy. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Nov 34
p. 3.
Daily Variety
19 Nov 34
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Dec 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Dec 34
p. 5.
Daily Variety
19 Jan 35
p. 3.
Daily Variety
5 Feb 35
p. 2.
Film Daily
8 Mar 35
p. 7.
Film Daily
4 Oct 35
p. 5.
Film Daily
10 Oct 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 35
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Oct 35
p.6.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Oct 35
p. 38.
New York Times
10 Oct 35
p. 31.
Variety
16 Oct 35
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Max Reinhardt Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Arr for the screen
Arr for the screen
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
Cost suppliers
MUSIC
Background chorus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Ballets by
Ballets by
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
Cosmetician
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Publicity
Press agent
STAND INS
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (London, ca. 1595, published 1600).
MUSIC
Overture, Scherzo and Nocturne from A Midsummer Night's Dream , "The Wedding March" and selections from Songs Without Words , The Italian Symphony and The Scotch Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn.
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 October 1935
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 9 October 1935
Beverly Hills premiere: 16 October 1935
Production Date:
19 December 1934--9 March 1935.
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 October 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5866
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
132
Length(in reels):
17
Country:
United States
PCA No:
752
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, who is preparing to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, finds his court full of romantic intrigue. Lysander and Hermia are in love, but Hermia's father Egeus pleads with the duke to force her to marry Demetrius, who also loves her. Theseus agrees that Hermia must obey her father's wishes or live the rest of her life unwed. Following the course of true love, Hermia runs away to the nearby wood to marry Lysander, but is pursued by Demetrius who is in turn followed by Helena, who suffers from unrequited love for him. Once in the woods, the lovers enter another court. Oberon, king of the fairies, is jealous of his beautiful queen Titania's affections for a small changeling boy stolen from an Indian king and enlists the devilish fairy Puck to steal the boy from Titania, giving him a magic love potion, which Puck uses not only on Titania, but on the mortal lovers as well. The love potion causes both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena who now spurns them both. In the midst of the activity, a troupe of players, led by Quince, enters the forest to practice their parts. During the rehearsal, Puck turns Bottom, the egotistical leading man, into an ass, and Titania, under Puck's spell, falls in love with the actor. Oberon successfully kidnaps the changeling boy, but pitying Titania, reverses the spell. By dawn, Puck restores Lysander and Hermia to their original affections, leaving Demetrius in love with Helena. Bottom regains his manhood and all the mortals return to Athens for Theseus' wedding. There, on his wedding day, he ... +


Theseus, the Duke of Athens, who is preparing to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, finds his court full of romantic intrigue. Lysander and Hermia are in love, but Hermia's father Egeus pleads with the duke to force her to marry Demetrius, who also loves her. Theseus agrees that Hermia must obey her father's wishes or live the rest of her life unwed. Following the course of true love, Hermia runs away to the nearby wood to marry Lysander, but is pursued by Demetrius who is in turn followed by Helena, who suffers from unrequited love for him. Once in the woods, the lovers enter another court. Oberon, king of the fairies, is jealous of his beautiful queen Titania's affections for a small changeling boy stolen from an Indian king and enlists the devilish fairy Puck to steal the boy from Titania, giving him a magic love potion, which Puck uses not only on Titania, but on the mortal lovers as well. The love potion causes both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena who now spurns them both. In the midst of the activity, a troupe of players, led by Quince, enters the forest to practice their parts. During the rehearsal, Puck turns Bottom, the egotistical leading man, into an ass, and Titania, under Puck's spell, falls in love with the actor. Oberon successfully kidnaps the changeling boy, but pitying Titania, reverses the spell. By dawn, Puck restores Lysander and Hermia to their original affections, leaving Demetrius in love with Helena. Bottom regains his manhood and all the mortals return to Athens for Theseus' wedding. There, on his wedding day, he overrides Egeus' will and gives Hermia to Lysander. Quince and his players entertain the court with their comic love story, starring the dim-witted Flute as the girl Thisby and Bottom as her lover, the ill-fated Pyramus. As the court slips out before the epilogue, Puck and the fairies fly into the empty palace to bid the mortals goodnight. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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