Hamlet

( 47 )

Overview

At least the 22nd time William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy has been brought to the screen, Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Hamlet was the first to preserve Shakespeare's entire text, uncut and unabridged. Moving the action into the 19th century, Branagh cast himself in the title role and, as in his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, assembled an eclectic group of actors that mixed veteran Shakespearean performers including John Mills, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, and Derek Jacobi with Hollywood stars ...
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Overview

At least the 22nd time William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy has been brought to the screen, Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Hamlet was the first to preserve Shakespeare's entire text, uncut and unabridged. Moving the action into the 19th century, Branagh cast himself in the title role and, as in his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, assembled an eclectic group of actors that mixed veteran Shakespearean performers including John Mills, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, and Derek Jacobi with Hollywood stars not known for interpreting the Bard's work among them Robin Williams, Charlton Heston, Billy Crystal, and Jack Lemmon. However, unlike most interpretations, it's the women who really carry the show, with the two best performances delivered by Kate Winslet as Ophelia and Julie Christie as Gertrude. As usual, Hamlet finds himself torn over what to do after the death of his father and his mother's hasty remarriage. Branagh's version of Hamlet was also notable on a technical level, as it was filmed in the 70-mm format for increased visual clarity and detail.
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Special Features

Introduction by Director/Star Kenneth Branagh; Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare Scholar Russell Jackson; New Digital Transfer From Original 70mm Elements; Soundtrack Remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; Featurette To Be on Camera: a History With Hamlet; 1996 Cannes Film Festival Promo; Shakespeare Movies Trailer Gallery.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/14/2007
  • UPC: 053939268324
  • Original Release: 1996
  • Rating:

  • Source: Castle Rock
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Remastered / Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 4:02:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,962

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Attenborough English Ambassador
Kenneth Branagh Hamlet
Brian Blessed The Ghost
Julie Christie Gertrude
Derek Jacobi Claudius
Kate Winslet Ophelia
Richard Briers Polonius
Billy Crystal First Gravedigger
Judi Dench Hecuba
Gérard Depardieu Reynaldo
Reece Dinsdale Guildenstern
Nicholas Farrell Horatio
John Gielgud Priam
Rosemary Harris Player Queen
Charlton Heston Player King
Jack Lemmon Marcellus
John Mills Old Norway
Simon Russell Beale Second Gravedigger
Rufus Sewell Fortinbras
Timothy Spall Rosencrantz
Robin Williams Osric
David Blair Attendant to Claudius/Servant
Michael Bryant Priest
Ken Dodd Yorich
Angela Douglas Attendant to Gertrude
Ray Fearon Francisco
Ravil Issyanov Cornelius
Ravil Isyanov Cornelius
Rowena King Attendant to Gertrude/Messenger
Sarah Lam Attendant to Gertrude
Michael Maloney Laertes
Ian McElhinney Barnardo
Andrew Schofield Young Lord
Don Warrington Valtemand
David Yip Sailor One
Jimmy Yuill Alexander
Technical Credits
Kenneth Branagh Director, Screenwriter
David Barron Producer
Alexandra Byrne Costumes/Costume Designer
Desmond Crowe Art Director
Patrick Doyle Score Composer, Songwriter
Neil Farrell Editor
Peter Glossop Sound/Sound Designer
Tim Harvey Production Designer
Simone Ireland Casting
Simon Moseley Asst. Director
Vanessa Pereira Casting
Alex Thomson Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hamlet
1. Strange Eruption [4:17]
2. Implements of War [5:31]
3. Greeting Norway, Godspeed Laertes [4:27]
4. More Than Kin, Less Than Kind [4:52]
5. Solid Flesh Wicked Speed [4:37]
6. Foul Deeds Will Rise [3:23]
7. Advice Between Siblings [2:41]
8. To Thine Own Self [2:16]
9. Tender Yourself More Dearly [2:45]
10. Beckoning Figure [3:15]
11. Thy Father's Spirit [2:45]
12. By a Brother's Hand [4:06]
13. Son's Oath [2:06]
14. Time Out of Joint [4:03]
15. Arrangement With Reynaldo [3:39]
16. Mad For Ophelia's Love? [3:19]
17. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern [2:54]
18. Well-Ended Norway Business [1:39]
19. Method in His Madness [7:25]
20. What a Piece of Work [3:17]
21. Anticipating the Players [2:28]
22. Welcome, Masters [1:29]
23. First Player's Speech [4:23]
24. The Play's the Thing [4:42]
25. Ruse Involving Ophelia [3:48]
26. To Be or Not to Be [2:54]
27. Get Thee to a Nunnery [3:05]
28. Madness in Great Ones [6:36]
29. Advice to the Players [1:20]
30. Advice to Horatio [3:11]
31. Dumb Show [3:27]
32. Undying Love [1:41]
33. Knavish Piece of Work [4:46]
34. Not the Be Played Upon [3:11]
35. Very Witching Time of Night [3:19]
36. Pangs of Conscience [2:10]
37. Intruder's Death [4:50]
38. Words Like Daggers [1:49]
39. Visitation [3:24]
40. Cruel to Be Kind [2:31]
41. Aftermath of a Heavy Deed [5:40]
42. Bloody From This Time; Intermission [7:50]
Disc #2 -- Hamlet
43. Pretty Ophelia [2:22]
44. Poison of Deep Grief [6:24]
45. Bouquet of Air [5:56]
46. Letters From Abroad [5:05]
47. Plot Against Hamlet [5:38]
48. Fall into the Weeping Brook [3:49]
49. Churchyard Conversation [5:57]
50. Alas, Poor Yorick [2:40]
51. Rivals Over an Open Grave [2:44]
52. Change in Plans [5:18]
53. Osric Delivers a Challenge [4:25]
54. The Readiness is All [5:09]
55. Rules of the Game [2:31]
56. Palpable Hits, Poinsoned Wine [3:23]
57. Death to Three Schemers [2:31]
58. The Rest is Silence [6:03]
59. Fortinbras and the Ambassador [3:13]
60. A Dynasty Shattered [3:52]
61. End Credits [1:42]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hamlet
   Introduction by Kenneth Branagh
   Play Movie - Part One
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Introduction by Kenneth Branagh
      Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Russell Jackson, M.A. PhD, Editor of the Cambridge Guide to Shakespeare on Film and Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English 5.1
      Subtitles: English (For the Hearing Impaired)
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Disc #2 -- Hamlet
   Play Movie - Part Two
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Russell Jackson, M.A. PhD, Editor of the Cambridge Guide to Shakespeare on Film and Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham
      To Be on Camera: A Hisotry of Hamlet
      Vintage Cannes Promo
      Trailers
         Play All
         Hamlet (1996)
         Hamlet (1990)
         Julius Caesar (1953)
         A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
         Othello (1995)
         Othello (1965)
         Romeo and Juliet (1937)
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English 5.1
      Subtitles: English (For the Hearing Impaired)
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Branagh's Magnus Opus

    This is, simply put, the best Hamlet on DVD. Kenneth Branagh clearly put his heart and soul in to every aspect of this production and it shows. His performance is mesmerizing, particularly the "to be or not to be" monologue delivered entirely to his own reflection. I completely disagree that Branagh's Hamlet is insane. I think he is quite the opposite: a calculating, tomented soul who acts mad to hide is deeper motives. For a nut-job Hamlet, watch Mel Gibson's horrible version. The rest of Branagh's players are top-notch, with the exception of Robin Williams....what was he thinking! Julie Christie is perfectly cool and oblivious as Gertrude and one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of our time, Derek Jacobi is brilliant as Claudis. RSC veteran Brian Blessed lends his powerful voice and presence to the Ghost--perfect casting. Kate Winslet shines as Ophelia, making her transition from beautiful ingenue to raving madwoman truly believable. The change of setting didn't bother me in the least. Honestly, when was the last time you saw a Shakespearean play or film that was set in the appropriate time period? Even Much Ado wasn't periodically correct. Nor was Love's Labour's, nor was As You Like It. The final duel bewteen Laertes and Hamlet was brilliantly choreographed, highlighting the athleticism and skill of both actors. And, no, Hamlet couldn't have cut through the thick rope with a foil...but the epees they were using could have.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Version of Hamlet.

    Kenneth Branaugh, Kate Winslet, and Julie Christie really carry this movie. Derek Jacoby is inspired as well. Some people do not like the change of time period, but personally I think it adds to the story. Lush costumes and sets and general frivolity add to the tragedy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great!

    good for my collection!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    After reading the play...

    I got tired of checking this out at the library for my son every week until his teacher was ready to discuss the play, so I bought it. He saw it over and over because he wanted to be ready to quote it on his AP literature essay. I saw it with him once and began to understand some parts especially with the subtitles. I have trouble with British accents. It's four hours, so take your time with it. I didn't care for the American actors except Billy Crystal who did a great job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    shakespeare comes to life

    Helps with undrstanding the plot but highly recommend book reading for verification of facts

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing

    I bought this to watch at the same time as studying the written play with my daughter. Kenneth Branagh's movie is the first time that the entire play has been faithfully reproduced word for word on screen. Some of the choices (Robin Williams?) are interesting to say the least and the final scene is different than how I would have staged it, but makes for great discussions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME

    AWESOME AWESOME MOVIE. LOVE IT.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet

    I was so impressed with this "Hamlet". I saw it in my English class, and I was just blown away. Kenneth Branagh makes Hamlet appear the way he should: not mad or a villain, simply a young and tormented soul who wants to make things right but doesn't know how. This movie captured the emotions, and it was believable when the actors delivered their lines; it didn't sound like they were just reciting memorized material. If you're going to own any classic, this is one that should be in your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    So disappointed in Branagh!

    I have to admit that I am both a huge fan of Branagh and Shakespeare's Hamlet. However, after waiting to see this for upteen years, I was terribly disappointed. Branagh missed the mark on this interpretation. He turns Hamlet into a manic lunatic. Hamlet was not crazy, just torn by what path to take. He was a Renaissance man, more prone to thought than action. The supporting cast is amazing, but Branagh just didn't get this one right. Watch him in Much Ado about Nothing. He is so much better in that one.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "This is Not Hamlet"

    This is an excellent movie, well done, but it should have been titled "This is Not Hamlet". The transition in time by hundreds of years too recent is intrusive and artificial, and spoils the spirit of Shakespeare. Cigars in medieval Denmark? A locomotive in Elsinore? The concluding sword fight is worthy of Indiana Jones, but the motivation of the combatants is confused, and it is remarkable that Hamlet is able to slice through a thick rope with the edge of a foil. An excellent movie, but I wish I could have watched "Hamlet".

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    Please Please Release on DVD

    Hamlet is without doubt Kenneth Brannaugh's best work in the genre and there is no excuse for this work not to be on DVD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2003

    I love to curl up with Shakespeare!

    This movie was fantastic. I absolutely adore Kenneth Branagh. He makes reading Shakespeare all the more exciting. Everyone should watch Hamlet. I enjoy watching it over and over. Bravo to ALL the actors who made this movie a success!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    Coooool!!!

    We watched this for school and i love it Alsoit does needto be on DVD

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    To be!

    Clearly the best of all the Hamlet films. Branagh delievers a stage worthy performance with all the benefits of film that is true to the play. A great assitance tool for any Theatre student or English educator that wishes to see Shakespeare in motion, Branagh's Hamlet is full of all the character's emotional paradoxes and inner twistings that help to produce what is considered a staple of the modern English language. Enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Of all the movies on DVD, why not this one???

    This movie is incredible. After my kids and I saw it we decided to buy a DVD player... so we could watch it again in all its glory at home. That was 5 years ago! When is the DVD going to be produced?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2002

    This movie is amazing

    This movie is a must see and a valuable addition to any movie collection. The performances are dazzling, the set and shots are amazing...it will leave you breathless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2003

    Alas, we poor players doth yearn for DVD

    Is a DVD to be or not to be; that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to keep things as they are on poor VHS and endure the slings and arrows of lessor quality! Do we have to envoke a ghost to haunt Mr. Branagh to get this most noble job done? Methinks not. Still I await...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    Very good version of Hamlet

    Derek Jacobi is brilliant as Claudius, but Nicholas Farrell as Horatio is among the best performances I have ever seen on screen. Too bad Branagh's performance is not as good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002

    Awesome!

    This movie is an incredible interpretations of Shakespeare, and nobody could have done it but Kenneth Branagh. Just watching his soliloquies gives me the chills it is such an incredible acting job. I love that the movie contains ALL of Shakespeare's lines and the whole movie is just a beautiful piece of work. The costuming is wonderful and the whole cast does a spectacular job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2002

    Hamlet

    This is a beautiful version of Hamlet. Clearly the best ever done. Thank you Kenny for doing every line. It's just downright sacreligious when people edit Shakespeare. This movie...it's brilliant...yet this movie delights not me...just kiddin'...it does, but read the play and see it on stage first. Hamlet is such a dynamic work that I think everyone owes it to themselves to be exposed to the raw work and just open the mind and let new things drift in. Shakespeare...he's a pretty cool guy...I mean, he is probably responsible for millions or billions of peoples' definitions of love, villainy, betrayal, heroism, and others...don't ruin one of the rare chances to create definitions in your own mind by accepting Branagh's version first. After you read the play...go see what it meant to Kenneth Branagh...and compare or something...or just bask in the brilliance. Shakespeare's writing is like Michael Jordan...it just makes everybody play on a higher level.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews