Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos

Shakespeare in genre film

By Kinga Földváry

Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4209-2
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2020
  • BIC Category: Film Studies, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, The arts / Film: styles & genres, The arts / Film theory & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism
  • Series: Manchester University Press


The book presents a systematic method of interpreting Shakespeare film adaptations based on their cinematic genres. Its approach is both scholarly and reader-friendly, and its subject is fundamentally interdisciplinary, combining the findings of Shakespeare scholarship with film and media studies, particularly genre theory. The book is organised into six large chapters, discussing films that form broad generic groups. Part I looks at three genres from the classical Hollywood era (western, melodrama and gangster-noir), while Part II deals with three contemporary blockbuster genres (teen film, undead horror and biopic). Beside a few better-known examples of mainstream cinema, the volume also highlights the Shakespearean elements in several nearly forgotten films, bringing them back to critical attention.


Introduction: Shakespeare meets genre film
Part I: Classical Hollywood cinema
1 Will in the Wild West: western adaptations of Shakespeare
2 Shakespeare the tear-jerker: from woman's film to global melodrama
3 Dark-minded Othellos, mobster Macbeths: film noir, gangster, gangster noir
Part II: Contemporary blockbusters
4 Back to school, Will: Shakespeare the teen idol
5 Shakespeare the undead: a renaissance of vampires and zombies
6 Will, Bill and the Earl: versions of the author in contemporary biopics


Kinga Földváry is Senior Lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary

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