Casting Shakespeare Greats

On the subject of Kenneth Branagh playing Sir Laurence Olivier, an anonymous poster asks what modern actor might be case to play Sir John Gielgud. Good question, and a potentially fun game.  Pick your favorite “Shakespeare Great” and suggest who might play him (or her) in the appropriate movie.  Barrymore?  Burton?  Booth?  Why do so many great Hamlets have B names? 🙂

6 thoughts on “Casting Shakespeare Greats

  1. A 'B', or not a 'B',
    That is the Question?

    I'll have to get back to you on that.
    Seriously, I'm not quite sure at the moment. But I couldn't resist the opportunity for a bad play on words.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It's code…

    …for Bacon wrote Shakespeare!

    (anonymous so the humor police won't find me)

  3. You mean they paid him in bacon? He always speaks in terms of ducats; I thought…
    …For ducats, wrote Shakespeare .
    Maybe he bought some bacon with his ducats?

    I plead 'guilty' on a second count to the humor police.

    A few more for the "code": Branagh; Benson (1858-1939-(Sir Frank by 1916); Betterton (Hamlet until he was 70); Burbage; and wonder of wonders, Bernhardt, Sarah! Famous and acclaimed Hamlets all.

  4. Ralph Fiennes gets my vote.

  5. Oh and Barrymore was played by none other than his constant buddy in debauchery, Errol Flynn in 1958 in a Warner Bros. film called "Too Much, Too Soon". Perfect choice, although the film was cheaply made and badly directed, and Flynn was so far gone by that time that it was only a partially realized characterization he could come up with. But when Flynn was on in the film (rarely) he was really on. I saw the film a long time ago, in my teens, and the lasting impression is that it was as depressing as were both Flynn's and Barrymore's real life ends. Flynn remains, nonetheless, an all time classic hero for me. No one did it better for the short time he was in his prime.

  6. I always thought that Kevin Spacey bore more than a passing resemblance to Richard Burton.

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