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The Merry Wives of Windsor

TV Movie

Country: UK

Genre: Comedy, Drama



Among the honest folk of Windsor, Sir John Falstaff, concerned with his dwindling financial resources, hatches a plan to enrich himself by having love affairs with two wealthy women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, using his not-so-trusty pageboy Robin (Lee Whitlock) as go-between. However, the wives discover the plan and decide to teach Falstaff a lesson. Arranging for a rendezvous in Windsor Forest, they have Falstaff haunted and tormented by children disguised as woodland fairies. Meanwhile, Page's daughter Anne has three suitors. In the forest, two of them, Caius and Slender, each believing Anne to be disguised as a fairy, are tricked into eloping with what turn out to be boys, giving Anne the opportunity to marry Fenton, the man she herself actually wants as a husband. Slender is quite indignant when he finds out that he has eloped with a mere 'postmaster's boy'. Caius, on the other hand, has not just eloped with his boy, but has actually married him! In the face of a fait accompli, however, all are talked into accepting Anne's marriage to Fenton, Falstaff accepts that he has been justly ridiculed, and Mistress Page invites everyone to return home "and laugh this sport o'er by a country fire."


  • Shown as Season 5, episode 2 of the "BBC Television Shakespeare", a series which ran from 1978 to 1985, and succeeding in adapting all 37 of Shakespeare's plays for television.
  • According to tradition, The Merry Wives was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth herself who wanted to see a play on the theme of 'Falstaff in love'. (Scholars are divided over the veracity of this tradition.) It has the distinction of being the only one of Shakespeare's plays that is set in what is recognisably Shakespeare's England.


Picture for The Merry Wives of Windsor


  • Alan Bennett
    (Justice Shallow)
  • Richard O'Callaghan
  • Richard Griffiths
    (Sir John Falstaff)
  • Tenniel Evans
    (Sir Hugh Evans)
  • Bryan Marshall
    (George Page)
  • Gordon Gostelow
  • Nigel Terry
  • Michael Robbins
  • Miranda Foster
    (Anne Page)
  • Judy Davis
    (Mistress Ford)
  • Prunella Scales
    (Mistress Page)
  • Lee Whitlock
  • Michael Bryant
    (Doctor Caius)
  • Simon Chandler
  • Crispin Mair
    (William Page)
  • Harvey Brown
  • Adam Cooper
  • Simon Kemp
  • Wayne Phelan
  • Tony Young

BoyActors Reviews

1 member reviews/ratings for this Movie

Average and Weighted Ratings are only available once a Movie has received at least 5 ratings

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Good BBC Shakespeare with almost no cuts.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Page Last Modified: 7th May 2018
Page Added: 8th December 2017

Page Views: 3651

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