As You Like It

447. AS YOU LIKE IT (1936-England). With LAURENCE OLIVIER, ELISABETH BERGNER, FELIX AYLMER. Directed by PAUL CZINNER. Screenplay by J.M. BARRIE and ROBERT CULLEN, from the play by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. Laurence Olivier is regarded as the greatest actor Of the 20th century, and more than anything else, is acclaimed for his performances in Shakespeare’s classics. This is his initial celluloid foray into the Bard and the young, strikingly handsome actor is excellent as Orlando, the story’s intense, amorous, classically silly hero. Orlando shares a romance with Rosalind (Elisabeth Bergner, who is at once mischievous and radiant), daughter Of a banished duke. Even though she is playing opposite such a formidable actor, Bergner is excellent and nearly steals the film. There are complications and plot twists galore in this, one Of Shakespeare’s most inspired comedies. The film is a well-mounted, truly palatable version Of the classic, with Lazare Meerson’s unusual production design a standout. Most important Of all, director Czinner (who was Bergner’s husband) and his screenÂwriters resist temptation to toy with the essence Of Shakespeare and remain respectful and true to their source material. Indeed, Graham Greene, the esteemed novelist who was then reviewing films, called this “a better production than you will Often find on the stage.” 96 minutes. Drama