Perhaps not the most faithful of screen adaptations of Shakespeare, but certainly one of the most charming. The performances are surprisingly superb - notably Cagney as Bottom and a young Rooney as Puck - while visually the movie is a triumph of art direction and luminous photography. And although accusations of kitsch are perfectly justified, the scenes of the fairies wafting through the forest are beautiful enough to bring tears to the eyes. No wonder that the infant Kenneth Anger, playing the Changeling, would later turn to high camp and magic in his own movies. (Mendelssohn's music is arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
Cast and crew
Max Reinhardt, William Dieterle
Charles Kenyon, Mary C McCall Jr
James Cagney Dick Powell Olivia de Havilland Joe E Brown Mickey Rooney Jean Muir Verree Teasdale Ian Hunter Anita Louise Victor Jory Hugh Herbert