Gamlet

Gamlet

Director: Grigori Kozintsev, Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Mikhail Nazvanov, Elza Radzina

Cast: Grigori Kozintsev, Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Mikhail Nazvanov, Elza Radzina

     
 
Shakespeare's 17th century masterpiece about the "Melancholy Dane" was given one of its best screen treatments by Soviet director Grigori Kozintsev. Kozintsev's Elsinore was a real castle in Estonia, utilized metaphorically as the "stone prison" of the mind wherein Hamlet must confine himself in order to avenge his father's death. Hamlet himself is portrayed (by

Overview

Shakespeare's 17th century masterpiece about the "Melancholy Dane" was given one of its best screen treatments by Soviet director Grigori Kozintsev. Kozintsev's Elsinore was a real castle in Estonia, utilized metaphorically as the "stone prison" of the mind wherein Hamlet must confine himself in order to avenge his father's death. Hamlet himself is portrayed (by Innokenti Smoktunovsky) as the sole sensitive intellectual in a world made up of debauchers and revellers. Several of Kozintsev directorial choices seem deliberately calculated to inflame the purists: Hamlet's delivers his "To be or not to be" soliloquy with his back to the camera, allowing the audience to fill in its own interpretations. Rarely seen in the US, this Hamlet (or Gamlet, as it was known in Russia) is not always successful, but is certainly more innovative -- and lively -- than Olivier's wildly overpraised 1948 version. Director Grigori Kozintsev would follow Hamlet with an equally radical adaptation of King Lear in 1970.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Considered by many to be the finest film adaptation of Hamlet, Gamlet is a stunning work of cinematic art. Yes, there are flaws: Purists, for example, will decry the cutting of text so that a four-hour play unspools at 140 minutes. Yet this is a charge that can levied at almost every adaptation of this lengthy, complex work, and director Grigori Kozintov and writer Boris Pasternak have done an admirable job of editing. Even with several major speeches missing, the beauty of the text, the flow of the plot and the motivations of the characters remain intact. Kozintov also understands that the place that visual interpretation can play in deepening the meaning of a piece, and his Gamlet is almost unearthly in its use of the camera to create new layers. Utilizing the at times majestic and at other times claustrophobic lensing of Jonas Gritsus, Kozintov creates a look that magnifies both the themes of the play and the depths of the characters themselves. His Hamlet isn't merely isolated, cut off from society because of his indecisiveness; he is visibly a prisoner of that society, a fact enhanced by the stark framing of the castle and its environs. Gritsus' photography is sometimes gorgeous, sometimes, brutal, sometimes unnervingly nuanced, but at all times keenly tied in to what is going on in the film at that exact moment. In the lead role, Innokenty Smoktunovsky is perhaps a bit old for the young prince, but his age is the only thing that can be held against him; the performance itself is startling, brooding, enraging and filled with welcome nuance. And as Ophelia, Anastasia Vertinskaya is a small marvel.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/31/2006
UPC:
0736899090425
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
NR
Source:
Facets
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Time:
2:20:00
Sales rank:
62,999

Special Features

Facets Cine-Notes collectible booklet; Scene selection

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Innokenty Smoktunovsky Hamlet
Mikhail Nazvanov King
Elza Radzina Queen
Yuri Tolubeyev Polonius
Anastasia Vertinskaya Ophelia
Vadim Medvedev Guildenstern
Vladimir Erenberg Horatio
Stepan Oleksenko Laertes
Igor Dmitriev Actor
Grigoriy Gay Actor
Reyno Aren Actor
Viktor Kolpakov Gravedigger

Technical Credits
Grigori Kozintsev Director,Screenwriter
Yevgeni Enei Art Director
Jonas Gritsus Cinematographer
Georgi Kropachyov Art Director
Ye Makhankova Editor
B. Mikhoylov Special Effects
N. Rabinovich Musical Direction/Supervision
G. Senotov Special Effects
Dmitry Shostakovich Score Composer
Solomon Virsaladze Costumes/Costume Designer
A. Zavyalov Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hamlet
1. Opening Credits [2:39]
2. Death of a King [12:59]
3. Ghost [12:37]
4. The Traveling Players [18:00]
5. Polonius & Hamlet [9:24]
6. "The Mousetrap" [15:55]
7. Hamlet and Gertrude [9:03]
8. To England [15:22]
9. Ophelia's Madness [15:15]
10. The Graveyard [11:29]
11. Duel & Death [19:40]

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