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Hamlet (1948)

Director: Laurence Olivier     Starring: Jean Simmons
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Format: DVD
Sku: 40141545
UPC: 037429128428
UPC 14: 00037429128428
See more in Family & Kids
Editor's Note
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.


Video Features DVD

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Home Vision/Public Media
Video Release Date Release Date: 9/19/2000
Video Play Time Running Time: 155 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1948
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 020
Video UPC UPC: 00037429128428
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Jean Simmons
Video Cast Info Harcourt Williams
Video Cast Info Stanley Holloway
Video Cast Info Laurence Olivier
Video Cast Info Norman Wooland
Video Cast Info Esmond Knight
Video Cast Info Basil Sydney
Video Cast Info Felix Aylmer
Video Cast Info Anthony Quayle
Video Cast Info Peter Cushing
Video Cast Info Niall MacGinnis
Video Cast Info Patrick Troughton
Video Cast Info John Laurie
Video Cast Info Terence Morgan
Video Cast Info Sterling Holloway
Video Cast Info Helga Cranston - Editor
Video Cast Info Roger K. Furse - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Alan Dent - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info William Walton - Composer
Video Cast Info Paul Sheriff - Special Effects
Video Cast Info Desmond Dickinson - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Tony Sforzini - Makeup
Video Cast Info Carmen Dillon - Art Director
Video Cast Info Eileen Herlie - Featured
Video Cast Info Laurence Olivier - Producer
Video Cast Info William Shakespeare - Story
Video Cast Info Laurence Olivier - Director
Plot Summary
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.

Memorable Quotes

"To be or not to be...that is the question."----Hamlet (Laurence Olivier) to himself

"And this, above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, then that thou canst be false to any man."----Polonius (Felix Aylmer) to Laertes (Terence Morgan)

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."----Hamlet to Horatio (Norman Wooland)

"Alas, poor Yorick!"----Hamlet to Horati

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."----Marcellus (Anthony Quayle) to Horatio

Professional Reviews

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

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

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Olivier,Laurence
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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