Number 16 in the '50 Films To See Before You Die Challenge.'
I took a class on Shakespeare in college. I admit, I relied heavily on sparknotes to get me through my tests. But I still loved every minute of it. This film is what made me want to take that class. It's always been one of my most favorite stories.
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.
William Shakespeare: You see? The comsumptives plot against me. "Will Shakespeare has a play, let us go and cough through it."
Viola de Lesseps: I would stay asleep my whole life, if I could dream myself into a company of players.
Lord Wessex: I have spoken with your father.
Viola De Lesseps: So, my lord? I speak with him every day.
William Shakespeare: You, sir, are a gentleman.
Ned Alleyn: And you, sir, are a Warwickshire shithouse.
William Shakespeare: A broad river divides my lovers: family, duty, fate. As unchangeable as nature.
Queen Elizabeth: Playwrights teach us nothing about love. They make it pretty, they make it comical, or they make it lust, but they cannot make it true.
Viola De Lesseps: Oh, but they can!
Queen Elizabeth: Fifty pounds! A very worthy sum on a very worthy question. Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love? I bear witness to the wager, and will be the judge of it as occasion arises. I have not seen anything to settle it yet.
Queen Elizabeth: [after inspecting Viola] Have her then, but you're a lordly fool. She's been plucked since I saw her last, and not by you... it takes a woman to know it.
Lord Wessex: [angrily] Marlowe!
Tilney: That woman is a woman!
Viola De Lesseps: [that she, as Thomas Kent, is actually a woman] Nobody knew.
John Webster: [pointing to Will] He did! I saw him kissing her bubbies.
Queen Elizabeth: You are an eager boy. Did you like the play?
John Webster: I liked it when she stabbed herself, Your Majesty.
Queen Elizabeth: I know something of a woman in a man's profession. Yes, by God, I do know about that.
[Saying their goodbyes]
William Shakespeare: You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.
Viola De Lesseps: I love you, Will, beyond poetry.
William Shakespeare: My story starts at sea, a perilous voyage to an unknown land. A shipwreck. The wild waters roar and heave. The brave vessel is dashed all to pieces. And all the helpless souls within her drowned. All save one. A lady. Whose soul is greater than the ocean, and her spirit stronger than the sea's embrace. Not for her a watery end, but a new life beginning on a stranger shore. It will be a love story. For she will be my heroine for all time. And her name will be Viola.