Hundreds of films based on or inspired by the works of Shakespeare have been produced, including several blockbusters in the last decade (the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, and others). Check out this compilation of some of the most notable works and adaptations.

Note: a few of these (particularly based on Shakespeare’s tragedies) may not be family-friendly, so check out the movie summary before viewing with kids.



Macbeth (1948)

Directed by Orson Welles

Hamlet (1948)

Directed by Laurence Olivier

Kiss Me, Kate (1953)

Based on The Taming of the Shrew, directed by George Sidney, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter

West Side Story (1961)

Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise

King Lear (1971)

Directed by Peter Brook

Macbeth (1971)

Directed by Roman Polanski

Antony and Cleopatra (1972)

Directed by and starring Charlton heston

The Comedy of Errors (1978)

Starring Judi Dench and Francesca Annis, directed by Philip Casson and Trevor Nunn

Ran (1985)

Based on King Lear, directed by Akira Kurosawa

Henry V (1989)

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh

Hamlet (1990)

Starring Mel Gibson and Glen Close, directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990)

Inspired by Hamlet, directed by Tom Stoppard

Prospero’s Books (1991)

Based on The Tempest, directed by Peter Greeneway

Much Ado about Nothing (1993)

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

The Lion King (1994)

Based on Hamlet, directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

Othello (1995)

Starring laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh, directed by Oliver Parker

Richard III (1995)

Starring ian McKellan, directed by Richard Loncraine

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, directed by Baz Luhrman


Hamlet (1996)

Starring Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi and Kate Winslet, directed by Kenneth Branagh

Looking for Richard (1996)

Inspired by Richard III, directed by and starring Al Pacino

Twelfth Night (1996)

Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Nigel Hawthorne, Ben Kingsley and Imogen Stubbs, directed by Trevor Nunn

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush and Judi Dench, directed by John Madden

Titus (1999)

Starring Anthony Hopkins and Jjessica Lange, directed by Julie Taymor

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Based on The Taming of the Shrew, starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, directed by Gil Junger

A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (1999)

Starring Calista Flockhart and Michelle Pfeiffer, directed by Michael Hoffman

Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000)

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Hamlet (2000)

Starring Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles and Kyle MacLachlan, directed by Michael Almereyda

O (2001)

Based on Othello, starring Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles and Mekhi Phifer, directed by Tim Blake Nelson.

Scotland, PA (2001)

Based on Macbeth, directed by Billy Morrissette

The Merchant of Venice (2004)

Starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, directed by Michael Radford

As You Like It (2006)

Ddirected by Kenneth Branaugh

Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)

Based on Romeo and Juliet, directed by Kelly Ashbury

Coriolanus (2011)

Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes

Warm Bodies (2012)

Based on Romeo and Juliet, starring Nicholas Hoult