Felicity Kendal, Shashi Kapoor, Geoffrey Kendal, Madhur Jaffrey,
In Shakespeare Wallah (wallah means “peddler”), a family of English Shakespearean actors find themselves lost in the new India, reduced to giving performances at golf clubs, schools, and the palaces of declining maharajahs. Their conflict is heightened when the daughter of the family falls in love with a young Indian playboy. The Kendal family—mother, father, and daughter—play themselves in the film, which has been called Chekhovian in its emphasis on “life glowing fiercely amid the decay of an old order; the tragic comedy of indecisiveness . . . the humor and poignant details” (Bernard Oesch, Film Society Review). The film’s score was composed by Satyajit Ray, and the cinematography is by Ray’s cinematographer, Subrata Mitra.