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Shakespeare Wallah (Blu-ray)


When a young British actress from a touring troupe falls in love with an Indian playboy, the star-crossed lovers must overcome cultural differences and the scheming of a fierce rival

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A company of nomadic actors travel across India performing Shakespeare, during the early days of post-colonial rule. When young troupe member Lizzie (Felicity Kendal) falls in love with a local playboy Sanju (Shashi Kapoor), the pair must overcome cultural differences and the scheming of fierce Indian film actress - and rival for Sanju’s affections - Manjula (Madhur Jaffrey).

Plaintive and haunting, Shakespeare Wallah was Merchant Ivory’s first international success. Shot by Satyajit Ray's cameraman, Subrata Mitra - and scored by Ray himself - the film is a delicate love story that sets the tone for so many of the partnership’s future collaborations.

Now newly restored in 2K, it remains a beguiling and multi-layered cinematic landmark.

  • New 2K restoration
  • The Guardian Lecture: Ismail Merchant and James Ivory (1983, 82 mins): the director and producer in conversation with David Robinson at the NFT
  • The Guardian Interview: Shashi Kapoor (1994, 54 mins, audio only): the actor in conversation with film critic Derek Malcolm at the NFT
  • Conversations from the Quad with James Ivory and Madhur Jaffrey (2018, 48 mins): the director and actor discuss working together
  • A Road in India (1938, 9 mins): Technicolor travelogue shot by award-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff
  • Original trailer (1965)
  • Restoration trailer (2017)
  • **FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Fully illustrated booklet with writing by James Ivory and John Pym, an interview with Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, original review and full film credits
Additional Information
More Information
SKU 5035673013342
Catalogue Number BFIB1334
Product contents 1 disc
Year 1965
Director James Ivory
Format Blu-Ray
Publisher(s) BFI
Colour Black & White
Subtitles English Hard of Hearing
Language(s) English
Running time 122 min
DVD region 2
Blu-ray region B
Certificate PG
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