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When gallant Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), his nefarious brother Don John (Keanu Reeves), and close confidantes Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) and Benedick (Kenneth Branagh) ride thunderously into the Sicilian village of Messina, romance, gaiety, and suspicion abound. The men have returned safely from a war, and soon everyone in the sun-drenched villa is abuzz with thoughts of love. Claudio, enamored of the purity of the nubile Hero (Kate Beckinsale), entreats Don Pedro to woo the maiden on his behalf that evening at a masked ball. Once he's managed the successful betrothal of Hero to Claudio, Don Pedro has another plot in mind: he plans to trick Hero's bantering cousin Beatrice (Emma Thompson) and sworn bachelor Benedick into acknowledging they've fallen in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, driven by contempt for his compatriots, has hatched a plot of his own: to fool Claudio and Don Pedro into believing Hero is unchaste. The plot works perfectly: sensitive but volatile Claudio denounces her publicly on their wedding day. All seems lost, and soon the attempts to set things right include a formal duel, a scheming friar, a mock memorial and a gaggle of bumbling constables. With its excellent cast and beautiful Tuscan backdrop, director Kenneth Branagh's film is a light-hearted adaptation of yet another of Shakespeare's great plays.
Kate Beckinsale - British Actress
Kenneth Branagh - British Director-Actor
Robert Sean Leonard - American Actor
Denzel Washington - American actor, GLORY/TRAINING DAY
Keanu Reeves - American Actor, MATRIX (1999)
Michael Keaton - Actor/Producer, BATMAN (1989)
Michael John Douglas - Actor/Producer, BATMAN (1989)
Emma Thompson - British actress
Chris Barnes - Star, Tanner of BAD NEWS BEARS
Based on Shakespeare's comedy of 1598, this springtime tale is about two love affairs both assisted and complicated by the scheming of busybodies. One couple is coaxed together by gossip, and another is almost driven apart forever in this winsome and fresh adaptation shot on location in the lush hills of Tuscany.
Theatrical release: May 7, 1993. Filmed on location in the Tuscany region of Italy. Kate Beckinsale made her silver screen debut in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
"...[Branagh] has done it again....Triumphantly romantic, comic and, most surprising of all, emotionally alive..." - 05/07/1993 New York Times, p.C16
"...Invigorating fun....[Thompson] is an actress of unflagging elegance..." - 06/10/1993 Rolling Stone, p.56
"...A spirited, winningly acted rendition of one of the Bard's most popular comedies....Richard Briers and Brian Blessed are rock solid..." - 05/03/1993 Variety
"...A delectable golden glow practically radiates from the screen....MUCH ADO shimmers..." - 05/14/1993 Entertainment Weekly, p.38
"...Branagh is nothing if not a film director of high spirits and great energy....It is cheerful from beginning to end..." - 05/21/1993 Chicago Sun-Times, p.37