HamletDirector: Bill Colleran, John Gielgud
This DVD documents a final run-through of a performance of Hamlet starring Richard Burton. The disc contains a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include never-before-seen interview footage. This disc is ideal for anyone interested in the acting process, as well as for Shakespeare enthusiasts.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Image Entertainment
- Region Code:
- [Dolby Digital Mono]
Cast & Crew
|Hugh Alexander||Cornelius,2nd Gravedigger|
|John Gielgud||The Ghost|
|George Voskovec||Player King|
|George Rose||1st Gravedigger|
|Alfred W. Crown||Producer|
|Jane Greenwood||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Bruce B. Pierce||Editor|
|William S. Sargent||Producer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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We can be grateful that this famed theatrical performance is preserved for us at all. I stress the word theatrical. The performances are not toned down for the camera, the film production is not slick. This is a warts-and-all live event. Burton's Hamlet, a virile and commanding presence, is captured for posterity, as are the performances of theater greats Hume Cronyn, Alfred Drake, Eileen Herlie, George Rose and others. The fact that we have this archive at all is cause for joy. One only wishes that other legendary productions had been similarly captured on film or tape.
This is a film we are lucky to have, a record or Burton's acclaimed 1964 Hamlet as staged by John Gielgud. Performed with a live audience, it is a splendid record of a past theatrical event, which also includes Hume Cronyn's Tony-award winning turn as Polonius. An accomplished cast and wonderful staging make this a worthy purchase for anyone who loves the theater. A filmed play, not terribly cinematic, but a compelling and fascinating piece of theatrical history.
I had heard that Richard Burton offered the definitive Hamlet in this production. I was, however, disappointed. I found Burton to be far too intense in the opening scenes. Here, Hamlet is supposed to be melancholic, but Burton shouts the words ''seems, madam? Nay, it is'' almost angrily, despite the dialogue's obvious suggestion of Hamlet's brooding mood. Perhaps this angry and overly intense interpretation is rooted in the intensity of the 60s, but overall, I found it to be flawed and ignorant of Hamlet's character. The rest of Burton's performance is equally abrasive. Furthermore, I found the performances of the rest of the cast to be generally uninspired and unengaging. There are, however, some exceptional elements to the production. Gielgud's stage direction and his treatment of the ghost come to mind, but, despite this, I cannot recommend this production because of Burton's performance.