Screen Test of Time, Ep. 56: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Screen Test of Time is a podcast where Suzan Eraslan and David Daw set out to watch every movie ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, in order, from the first awards season to, eventually, the present day. Each week, they watch and review a different movie, and when they've watched everything nominated in a particular year, they tell you whether the Oscar went to the right one!
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David: Suzan, I might have gotten slightly drunk watching this movie over the course of like four hours.
Suzan: I mean, I didn’t, because I don’t drink, but I definitely felt like I had ingested some bad bread mold and was hallucinating.
This week, our hosts Shakespeare-nerd out pretty hard for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A German expressionistic adaptation of the play, directed by a man who literally didn’t speak English, starring James Cagney as a surprisingly fantastic Bottom, Olivia de Havilland as Hermia, Dick Powell as a dreadful Lysander, and a 14-year-old Mickey Rooney in the most enraging performance maybe ever committed to film. Suzan gets frustrated trying to find an accurate enough simile to convey just how bad Puck is, while David apologizes at least half a dozen times for his deep dive into the textual details.
Year Eligible: 1935 (Nominated)
Additional audio from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)