- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 30 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 30, 2008
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Pbs (Direct)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 02/13/2002
"...Likable....Mr. Rubbo is an old-fashioned rabble-rouser, and he knows a good story when he finds it. And he's got one in this case, with its adherents to a cause and their whipsaw articulation of thoughts..."
Michael Rubbo's sublimely entertaining documentary, MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING, investigates the premise that the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare were actually written by Christopher Marlowe. Relying on the expert testimony of historians, academics, and others, Rubbo builds his case carefully. He finds a cult-like group of Shakespeare debunkers who worship at the altar of Marlowe. Their proselytizing, corroborated by less biased witnesses, establishes that Marlowe was a brilliant student and a fine dramatist. Then, in the film's most compelling section, Rubbo examines Shakespeare's background, questioning the Bard's capacity to have written the work attributed to him. The film's final act is devoted to a detailed investigation, using reenactments, of Marlowe's murder, which allegedly took place before any of Shakespeare's plays had been written. Rubbo is a skilled provocateur, evidenced by the sly way he puts his questions to his subjects. He cleverly catches the Shakespeare supporters off guard with the information at his command, occasionally leaving them speechless. The filmmaker gets support from an unlikely source when actor Mark Rylance, director of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, acknowledges the virtues of "the Marlowe theory." The film is enjoyable, but the questions it raises are serious and merit further investigation.