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The Merry Wives of Windsor (1982)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | TV Movie 27 December 1982
When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Windsor wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and ... See full summary »


David Hugh Jones (as David Jones)


William Shakespeare (play)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Bennett ... Justice Shallow
Richard O'Callaghan ... Slender
Tenniel Evans ... Sir Hugh Evans
Bryan Marshall ... George Page
Richard Griffiths ... Sir John Falstaff
Gordon Gostelow Gordon Gostelow ... Bardolph
Nigel Terry ... Pistol
Michael Robbins ... Nym
Miranda Foster Miranda Foster ... Anne Page
Judy Davis ... Mistress Ford
Prunella Scales ... Mistress Page
Ron Cook ... Peter Simple
Michael Graham Cox Michael Graham Cox ... Host of the Garter Inn
Lee Whitlock ... Robin
Elizabeth Spriggs ... Mistress Quickly


When Sir John Falstaff decides that he wants to have a little fun he writes two letters to a pair of Windsor wives: Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When they put their heads together and compare missives, they plan a practical joke or two to teach the knight a lesson. But Mistress Ford's husband is a very jealous man and is pumping Falstaff for information of the affair. Meanwhile the Pages' daughter Anne is besieged by suitors. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director David Hugh Jones originally wanted to shoot the entire movie on-location in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home town, but when this proved to be impossible, he had Production Designer Don Homfray design a house based on real Tudor houses associated with Shakespeare. Falstaff's room was based on the home of Mary Arden (Shakespeare's mother) in Wilmcote, and the wives' houses were based on the house of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna, and her husband, John Hall. For the background of exterior shots, he used a miniature Tudor village built of plasticine. See more »

User Reviews

Has some disappointments, but sumptuous with most of the actors giving good performances
23 September 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I am not sure whether I'd go as far to say that this performance is a treasure, but I also don't think it is that bad either. It does have things that I think could have been done better, for example I do agree that the pacing was very slack at times and that as much as I like him Ben Kingsley was very neurotic and all over the place as Ford. The direction is inconsistent, the scenes with Mistress Page, with Mistress Ford and with Mistress Quickly are great and Falstaff also has some fine moments, but I found Ford's overdone and for some reason the denouncement doesn't quite come off. However, visually it is very sumptuous, with the sets and costumes lushly coloured and true to period. Shakespeare's dialogue still has sparkle and wit, and on the most part the performances are good with the women on a higher level of consistency than the men. Judy Davis is a dignified and humorous Mistress Ford, and Prunella Scales is the same as Mistress Page and even more so. Elizabeth Spriggs' Mistress Quickly is wonderfully conniving. Richard Griffiths acquits himself very well, witty and robust yet noble and vulnerable, while in support with the men while Tenniel Evans is likable it is Michael Bryant's very funny Dr Caius that stands out. In conclusion, a decent production that is well performed on the whole and sumptuous to look at, though the pacing and some of the staging could have been better. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

27 December 1982 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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