6.9/10
36,123
139 user 288 critic

Anonymous (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama, Thriller | 28 October 2011 (UK)
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The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Earl of Essex (as Sebastian Reid)
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Paolo De Vita ...
Francesco
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Thomas Dekker
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Thomas Nashe
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Captain Richard Pole
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Storyline

Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, is presented as the real author of Shakespeare's works. Edward's life is followed through flashbacks from a young child, through to the end of his life. He is portrayed as a child prodigy who writes and performs A Midsummer Night's Dream for a young Elizabeth I. A series of events sees his plays being performed by a frontman, Shakespeare. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Was Shakespeare a Fraud?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 October 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anónimo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,012,768 (USA) (30 October 2011)

Gross:

$4,463,292 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson play the older and younger versions of Queen Elizabeth respectively. In real-life they are mother and daughter. See more »

Goofs

The witches from Macbeth are seen performing on stage for a production during Elizabeth's reign. Macbeth was a play written for and when James I was on the English throne. See more »

Quotes

Prologue: Though our story is at an end, our poet's is not; for his monument is everliving. Not of stone but of verse. And it shall be remembered. As long as words are made of breath. And breath of life.
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Crazy Credits

Apart from the production companies, the only opening credit is the movie's title, displayed on the marquee of the prologue's theater. See more »

Connections

Featured in Last Will & Testament (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Night of the Long Knives
Written by Byrd & David Hirschfelder (as Hirschfelder)
Performed by David Hirschfelder
Courtesy of The Decca Music Group
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Play By Any Other Name ...
30 October 2011 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. While it is clear that writer John Orloff and director Roland Emmerich believe that Edward De Vere, The Earl of Oxford, and not Will Shakespeare, wrote the infamous and iconic plays we have celebrated for 400 years, my advice is to watch this as a Hollywood movie and not a docu-drama. Hollywood is at its best when exaggerating, twisting and dramatizing historic events and figures.

You may be an expert on Shakespeare and even Elizabethan history, but whether you are or whether you are not, my guess is that you will find this to be interesting and thought-provoking. You may agree with the idea that Shakespeare was not the prolific and talented author, but this movie provides one possible alternative ... with no scientific proof or actual documentation. We see Rhys Ifans and Jamie Campbell Bower portray Edward De Vere as the older and younger version respectively. Both capture his passion for writing and frustration at being unable to live the life for which he was born.

Vanessa Redgrave and her real life daughter Joely Richardson portray Queen Elizabeth at the older and younger stages, and we certainly get a distinctive impression of how "the Virgin Queen" may have been mis-labeled as much as any figure in history. Many lovers and illegitimate children are mentioned and the web of secrecy would have been exhausting, given the other responsibilities of her position.

Rafe Spall portrays Will Shakespeare as what one might call The Village Idiot. The buffoonery we see from this man is an extreme that weakens the case for De Vere, rather than strengthen it. Though talented writer Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) was De Vere's first choice, the lack of morals by the illiterate actor Shakespeare allows him to seize a capitalistic opportunity and soak up the audience love.

The best part of the film is the realistic look and feel of the streets, the Globe Theater and costumes. Rhys Ifans is exceptional in the role of De Vere, and the story itself plays out much like one of Shakespeare's plays. The downside is, I believe most will find the multitude of characters and time-lines and sub-plots to be quite confusing at times. Don't take a bathroom break or you'll miss new babies being born and upheavals being planned.


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