Hamlet
- Laurence Olivier

Overview - Before Kenneth Branagh, before Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier gave the definitive portrayal of "the man who could not make up his mind." In 15th-century Denmark, young Prince Hamlet is racked by torment and indecision after seeing a vision of his deceased father.  Read more...

 
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More About Hamlet - Laurence Olivier
 
 
 
Overview

Before Kenneth Branagh, before Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier gave the definitive portrayal of "the man who could not make up his mind." In 15th-century Denmark, young Prince Hamlet is racked by torment and indecision after seeing a vision of his deceased father. The late king's ghost informs his son Hamlet that Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, was responsible for murdering the king. When the murderer married Hamlet's mother--the king's widow--scarcely two months after his funeral, he also took the throne that was his brother's. The ghost beseeches Hamlet to avenge him--yet Hamlet procrastinates, unsure of how best to accomplish his task. In what was only his second directorial effort, Olivier uses his misty, moody set and long tracking camera shots to complement his indecisive prince tortured by the murder of his father. Olivier's version of the Shakespeare tragedy eliminates the characters of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Fortinbras.

Awards:
1948 - Academy Awards - Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (b&w) Winner
1948 - Academy Awards - Best Costume Design (b&w) Winner
1948 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1948 - Academy Awards - Best Actor Winner

Cast List

William Walton - British Composer
Sir William Turner Walton - British Composer
Jean Simmons - British actress, SPARTACUS (1960)
Harcourt Williams - British Actor
Stanley Holloway - British Actor/Singer
Laurence Olivier - Actor/Director/Producer, HAMLET (1948)
Sir Laurence Olivier - Actor/Director/Producer, HAMLET (1948)
Lord Laurence Olivier - Actor/Director/Producer, HAMLET (1948)
William Shakespeare - Sixteenth century English playwright/poet
Norman Wooland - Actor
Esmond Knight - British Character Actor
Basil Sydney - British character actor
Felix Aylmer - British Actor
Sir Felix Aylmer - British Actor
Roger K. Furse - British Stage Designer
Alan Dent - Writer
Anthony Quayle - British actor, ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS
Sir Anthony Quayle - British actor, ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS
Peter Cushing - British actor
Peter Wilton Cushing - British actor
Niall MacGinnis - Irish Actor
Paul Sheriff - Art Director/Set Designer
Desmond Dickinson - British Cinematographer
Tony Sforzini - Makeup Artist\1950s
Carmen Dillon - British Art Director
Eileen Herlie - British Actress
Patrick Troughton - British Character Actor, the second Doctor Who
John Laurie - Scottish Character Actor
Terence Morgan - British Actor
Sterling Holloway - American Actor/Comedian/Cartoon Voice
Helga Cranston - British Editor\"Hamlet"

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 153
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 037429128428
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: September 2000

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Classic
Ghosts
Medieval
Psychodrama
Stage Play
Tragedy
Recommended
Royalty
Theatrical Release

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
Critically acclaimed and beloved by the academy, Laurence Olivier's Shakespearean masterpiece delves deep into the story of a desperate prince seeking revenge for the secret murder of his father by his uncle. Though the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern scenes were cut, the authentic setting (shot in Elsinore, Denmark) helped it earn seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Director, and four awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Olivier), Best Art Direction, and Best Costumes.

Notes:
Filmed on location in Elsinore, Denmark. Estimated budget: $2 million. Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons also costarred in SPARTACUS. Vivien Leigh had played Ophelia onstage before, but Olivier told her she was "too old" to play her in the film. A stuntman on the set lost two teeth shooting a scene in which Oiivier drops on him from 15 feet.

Reviews:
Rating: A - 08/26/1994 Entertainment Weekly, p.120


"...Subsequent screen HAMLET outings haven't significantly improved on this version..." - 09/22/2000 USA Today, p.10E

 
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