Saturday Night at the Movies, 25 April 2015

Andrew Collins takes a look at the best cinematic adaptations of the works of William Shakespeare.

Romeo and Juliet West Side Story Natalie Wood Rich

William Shakespeare was born this week in 1564 and tonight, Andrew Collins looks back at the history of movies to discover those great Shakespeare plays that have been adapted to become great pieces of cinema.

Over the years, Shakespeare films attracted some of the very biggest names from the classical music world; think Shostakovich's music for Hamlet, a 1964 Russian language version which remained faithful to the original even though it was heavily cut; it runs but 140 minutes, compared to the play's original four-hour length.

Listen out also for William Walton 's majestic scores to Laurence Olivier's film versions of Shakespeare, as well as Leonard Bernstein 's jazz-infused updating of Romeo and Juliet to the streets of New York in West Side Story (pictured).

Saturday Night At The Movies