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Shall I Compare Thee To A Feature Film? From ‘West Side Story’ to ‘Romeo + Juliet’, We Discuss The Most Iconic Shakespeare Film Adaptations

Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Romeo + Juliet (1996)

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“To be, or not to be: that is the question” -- as posed by Lawrence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh and Ethan Hawke in various film adaptations of “Hamlet”. But those movies, along with this week’s “Ophelia,” are just a few of the many on-screen versions of Shakespeare’s plays.

In addition to being the most famous playwright of all time, Shakespeare may very well be the most prolific screenwriter of all time -- he’s credited as a writer more than 1400 times on Of those, over 400 are feature films. Shakespeare scholar Robert Watson joins guest host John Horn and critics Claudia Puig and Lael Lowenstein to discuss some of the most iconic Shakespeare movies.


Robert Watson, professor of English at UCLA; he specializes in the works of William Shakespeare

Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA); she tweets @ClaudiaPuig

Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic; she tweets @LAELLO