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Trivia / A Midsummer Night's Dream

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The 1935 film:

The 1999 film:

  • All-Star Cast: And how! Christian Bale, Calista Flockhart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Rupert Everett, Anna Friel, Dominic West...
  • Billing Displacement: Calista Flockhart is billed second, as she was recognisable for Ally McBeal, even though Hermia and Lysander have more prominence than Helena.
  • California Doubling: Played with. The action of the play is relocated to Tuscany as opposed to Athens, but references to Athens are still kept in the script. The film's opening titles set the action in a fictional Tuscan region called "Monte Athena."
  • Creator Backlash: Kevin Kline felt he was a better fit for Oberon, and disliked playing the cartoonish Bottom.
  • Playing Against Type:
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    • A few years later, Dominic West would be far more likely to play Demetrius. But here he's Lysander.
    • Christian Bale was likewise more accustomed to playing the plucky hero at the time (before American Psycho broke him of such typecasting). But here he plays Demetrius.
  • Troubled Production: Mildly, but the forest scenes were done inside an aircraft hangar for five weeks, and the plants used started to decay under the hot studio lights - releasing lots of noxious gases. The Helena and Hermia mud fight could only have two takes, because it took four hours to properly clean and prep the actresses for a second. As filming mostly took place at night, the cast became increasingly unhinged.
  • What Could Have Been: Calista Flockhart initially turned down the role of Helena, but relented when they were able to work around her Ally McBeal schedule.
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