Shakespeare in Contemporary Culture

Internet Movie Database (IMDb)©, cites more than 600 titles in its catalog as adaptations of Shakespeare plays. Beyond the obvious—63 versions of Hamlet featuring various actors including Laurence Olivier, Mel Gibson, and Ethan Hawke—some viewers might not even know they're watching a Shakespeare adaptation, while other popular titles attract well-known actors to the leading roles. Here's just a sample:

Ten Things I Hate About You (1999)—A remake of The Taming of the Shrew, set in a modern day high school and starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)—This comedic romp featured a host of stars, including Kevin Kline, Calista Flockhart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, and Stanley Tucci as Puck.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)—Baz Luhrmann's stunning futuristic telling of the tragic love story starred Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

West Side Story (1961)—This musical version of Romeo and Juliet tells the tragic tale of two youngsters from rival NYC gangs who fall in love (starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer).

Throne of Blood (1961, American release)—Famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa adapted the tragedy of Macbeth.

Forbidden Planet (1956)—This sci-fi cult classic draws inspiration from The Tempest and stars Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen.