As You Like It (1936)

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“As You Like It” is a film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name, directed by Paul Czinner and released in 1936. The film stars Laurence Olivier as Orlando and Elisabeth Bergner as Rosalind.

The story follows Rosalind, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior, who falls in love with Orlando at a wrestling match. However, after Orlando is forced to flee the court of Duke Frederick, Rosalind is banished as well, and disguises herself as a man named Ganymede in order to travel with her cousin Celia to the Forest of Arden, where her father and other exiles live.

In the forest, Rosalind/Ganymede meets Orlando again and decides to test his love by pretending to be a woman and counseling him on how to win Rosalind’s heart. Meanwhile, a shepherd named Silvius is hopelessly in love with a shepherdess named Phebe, who in turn falls for Ganymede (Rosalind in disguise). And Touchstone, a court jester, falls in love with a simple country girl named Audrey.

As the various love stories unfold, Duke Frederick arrives in the forest in search of Rosalind and Orlando, but is converted to a more peaceful way of life by Duke Senior. Eventually, all of the characters gather for a happy ending, with Orlando and Rosalind marrying, Silvius and Phebe pairing off, Touchstone and Audrey tying the knot, and Duke Senior and Duke Frederick reconciling.

The film is notable for its faithful adaptation of Shakespeare’s original play, with much of the dialogue taken directly from the text. It was also praised for its performances, particularly Bergner’s portrayal of Rosalind/Ganymede.

Paul Czinner

J.M. Barrie, Robert Cullen, Carl Mayer

Elisabeth Bergner, Laurence Olivier, Sophie Stewart

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