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Movielink Shakes Hands With Shakespeare

17 Nov, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Movie download service Movielink has gained the Internet rights to a selection of literary adaptations produced by the BBC, starting with a number of Shakespearean classics, the service announced today.

The titles range from tragedies Hamlet and Julius Caesar, to history Henry V, and comedies A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.

The films are complete, unabridged versions of the plays, starring award-winning actors including Brenda Blethyn, John Cleese, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman and Patrick Stewart.

The films will be available for download from the Movielink site as well as Movielink's college skin, college.movielink.com.

“We are so excited to offer these wonderfully crafted BBC productions on the service,” said Jessica Algazi, Movielink's VP for content. “These faithful renditions of the original plays feature some of the best classically trained Shakespearean actors bringing the immortal words to life. The movies will be a special treat for our customers who are fanatics for the Bard, and students will be able to watch these films and use them as a supplemental resource in their studies.”

“We look forward to this new partnership and to delivering our programming to Movielink's online audience,” said Beth Clearfield, VP of programming for BBC Worldwide Americas. “The combination of our award-winning literary adaptations and Movielink's impressive foundation will bring quality and entertainment to the online consumer.”

Movies now available on the service include those mentioned above, as well as King Lear, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Othello, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night. BBC Worldwide Americas, which brokered the deal, has also pledged to work with Movielink to supply other productions.

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