SD Mines Professor Authors Book on Soviet Film Adaptations of Shakespeare Plays

RAPID CITY, SD (Jan. 17, 2018) – Michael Hudgens, Ph.D., who teaches philosophy and writing composition at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has authored a new book “The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev.”

Kozintsev is a celebrated Soviet-era filmmaker and theater director.  In 1964 he adapted Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to film and in 1971 he finished an adaptation of “King Lear.” Kozintsev was born in 1905 and died unexpectedly in 1973, only months after King Lear was screened in America.

Critic Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe reviewed Kozintsev’s work and wrote, “Paradoxically, the two most powerful films of Shakespeare plays were made not in Great Britain but in the Soviet Union.” Sir Laurence Olivier ranked the lead actor Innokenti Smoktunovsky as the best “Hamlet,” better than his own portrayal.

Hudgens’ work has value not only for film directors and scholars but for anyone who loves Shakespeare. The description of Hudgens’ work reads: “Sizing Shakespeare to the compressed view of the camera lens is no small feat. This undertaking is covered in these pages, which reveal a remarkable director’s kaleidoscopic vision as he takes a text from stage to film. Out of this emerge new ways for an ordinary reader to view Shakespeare, and a greater understanding for those who teach his plays, particularly the challenging ‘King Lear.’”

“The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev” is Hudgens’ latest work. His previous books include “Sisters of Fate: The Myths that Speak Themselves,” released in 2013.

“The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev” is 158 pages in length and published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book is available on


Charles Michael Ray

Communications Manager

University Relations


About SD Mines

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $63,000. Find us online at and on Facebook and Twitter.

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