Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

4.5 7
Director: Tom Stoppard, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss

Cast: Tom Stoppard, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss

     
 

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Tom Stoppard's comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead gets a double-disc DVD release that offers a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Although the film looks and sounds great, the extra disc may be the real prize. The disc consists of interviews with Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Tom Stoppard.

Overview

Tom Stoppard's comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead gets a double-disc DVD release that offers a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Although the film looks and sounds great, the extra disc may be the real prize. The disc consists of interviews with Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Tom Stoppard. The segments are very long, and very extensive. A standout moment is Roth explaining how a famous actor's misfortune led him to be cast in the film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
In an audacious bit of artistic sleight of hand, playwright Tom Stoppard takes two marginal characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet and puts them at the center of tumultuous events, relegating the drama's principal figures -- Hamlet, Ophelia, and Claudius, among others -- to the background. Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) and Guildenstern (Tim Roth), very much confused about the state of things in Elsinore, lurch from conversation to conversation, conflict to conflict, without ever being aware what role they are destined to take in Hamlet's destiny. Stoppard, who not only adapted his 1967 play but directed this film version as well, devises some very clever dialogue for the two protagonists, who at times come off as a medieval Abbott & Costello. Or perhaps Laurel & Hardy: Oldman's Rosencrantz is very much the befuddled simpleton, while Roth's Guildenstern imagines himself cleverer than he really is. Richard Dreyfuss garners his fair share of laughs as a wandering performer drawn into their orbit, and the whole enterprise has the feeling of an extended Monty Python skit. Stoppard's direction leaves something to be desired: This is not a terribly cinematic film, and its stage origins are readily apparent. But the central conceit is a brilliant one that's executed with panache by a marvelous cast.
All Movie Guide - Scott Engel
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is Tom Stoppard's film adaptation of his 1968 Tony Award-winning play of the same name. Stoppard has long been a respected name in the theater (he was knighted for his work in 1997), but he is probably best known to film audiences for Shakespeare in Love, a film which earned him an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Like that film, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead takes Shakespeare and turns him on his head, but the script has more in common with Samuel Beckett and the absurdist tradition that with the Bard. That having been said, the overall plot of this laugh-out-loud film is almost secondary to the character's relationships with each other and the events around them. Gary Oldman plays the dim Rosencrantz and Tim Roth is the gentle Guildenstern (or is it the other way around?): two characters displaced from the play Hamlet who have no idea who they are or why they were sent for. Trying to watch them figure it out is the hysterical joke that the film spins around. Oldman and Roth are extremely deft with the difficult dialogue as they literally volley in a game of verbal tennis. Richard Dreyfuss has a more grounded role but is equally fun. As the Player, he tries to clue the heroes in to their destiny while at the same time pushing them toward it. Ultimately, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reach their pre-written demise off-stage, true to the tragic play from which they tried to escape. Even if you only have a passing knowledge of Shakespeare's work, the script stands on its own as a humorous study of fiction versus reality.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/22/2005
UPC:
0014381256222
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
PG
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:58:00

Special Features

Extensive interviews with Tom Stoppard, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Tim Roth

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Oldman Rosencrantz
Tim Roth Guildenstern
Richard Dreyfuss Player King
Iain Glen Hamlet
Joanna Roth Ophelia
Donald Sumpter Claudius
Joanna Miles Gertrude
Ljubo Zecevic Osric
Ian Richardson Polonius
Sven Medvesck Laertes
Vili Matula Horatio
John Burgess English Ambassador
Livio Badurina Tragedian
Tomislav Maretic Tragedian
Mare Mlacnik Tragedian
Srdjan Soric Tragedian
Mladen Vasary Tragedian
Zeljko Vukmirica Tragedian
Branko Zavrsan Tragedian

Technical Credits
Tom Stoppard Director,Screenwriter
Emanuel Azenberg Producer
Peter Biziou Cinematographer
Michael Brandman Producer
Vaughan Edwards Production Designer
Nicolas Gaster Editor
Ivo Husnjak Art Director
Doreen Jones Casting
Iris Merlis Co-producer
Stanley Myers Score Composer
Andreane Neofitou Costumes/Costume Designer
Thomas J. Rizzo Executive Producer
Louise Stephens Executive Producer
Bill Westley Asst. Director
Patrick Whitley Co-producer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Disc 1
1. Main Title; Heads [13:09]
2. An Audience [7:58]
3. Mission for the King [7:55]
4. Games [8:30]
5. Role-Playing [8:03]
6. Excellent Good Friends [11:55]
7. Nosing About [10:14]
8. A Slaughterhouse [9:49]
9. Life in a Box [7:11]
10. Tragedy [10:41]
11. On the Boat [8:58]
12. Pirates and Death [9:52]
13. End Credits [3:10]

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
D_MacGowan More than 1 year ago
My favorite movie of all time. It's just phenomenal. I don't know why it was not more widely distributed. Delicious wordplay and great acting.
implicico More than 1 year ago
seriously, this is awesome. no complaints on anything except that it's too short for the acting quality! classic for anyone who says they're a film-buff. you're doing yourself a disservice by not viewing this gem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this while I was in college. I recommend a few beers before and after the film for optimal enjoyment. I never thought coin tosses could be so entertaining. Good times happy days.
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