Measure for Measure (TV Movie 1979) BBC Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

*Minor Spoilers Ahead!*

A common idea in literature, film, society, and life itself is the notion that people get what they deserve.  Some people would complain that life is “not fair,” but a good counterargument would be that everything in life IS fair, but not only in any particular person’s favor.  Given the complexity of “justice” as a concept, it is not surprising that one of William Shakespeare’s greatest comedies would include tragic elements while also borrowing its title Measure for Measure from the Bible (specifically Matthew 7.1 and 7.2).

A Toast!

As always the BBC really knows how to produce televised adaptations of classic British literature.  The cast in this particular TV movie is also very interesting because it features lesser-known actors instead of major British stars.  Nevertheless, the acting is always phenomenal given the difficulty of speaking Shakespearean lines articulately.

Beer Two

This is one of the most complex and risqué Shakespeare plays, but there will be no major spoilers in this review.


Measure for Measure is a compelling play and film that combines comedy with drama to explore what it means to be fair in a world in which justice is oftentimes never justified.

Measure for Measure (1979) Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every innuendo

Drink a Shot: for every beautiful shot of Vienna thanks to the production design team

And Drink Cautiously: or else drinkers could be arrested even though they simply consume liquids (and always drink responsibly please)

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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