This chapter considers the screen history of the play, examining the major film versions (directed by Paul Czinner, 1936, Christine Edzard, 1992, and Kenneth Branagh, 2006) and the BBC-Time Life Television Shakespeare production of 1978. None of these has been particularly well-received by critics and audiences, and the chapter discusses their uneasy use of film and television realism to render the pastoral fantasy world of the play. The discussion of the BBC production draws upon the corporation’s audience research data to investigate what actual spectators made of it in the context of the late 1970s television viewing experience.
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