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Hamlet (1948)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,272 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 43 critic

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

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Title: Hamlet (1948)

Hamlet (1948) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Niall MacGinnis ...
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Tony Tarver ...
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Russell Thorndike ...
Basil Sydney ...
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Norman Wooland ...
Felix Aylmer ...
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Storyline

William Shakespeare's tale of tragedy of murder and revenge in the royal halls of medieval Denmark. Claudius, brother to the King, conniving with the Queen, poisons the monarch and seizes the throne, taking the widowed Gertrude for his bride. Hamlet, son of the murdered King, mournful of his father's death and mother's hasty marriage, is confronted by the ghost of the late King who reveals the manner of his murder. Seeking revenge, Hamlet recreates the monstrous deed in a play with the help of some traveling actors to torment the conscience of the evil Claudius. In a visit with his mother, Hamlet expresses his anger and disappointment concerning her swiftly untimed marriage. Thinking a concealed spy in his mother's chamber to be the lurking Claudius, he mistakenly kills the meddling counselor, Polonius, father of Ophelia and Laertes. Claudius, on the pretext that Hamlet will be endangered by his subjects for the murder of Polonius, sends the prince to England. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | revenge | prince | poison | death | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 1948 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Hamlet  »

Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only major film version of "Hamlet" that entirely omits the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Laurence Olivier was severely criticized for leaving them out of the film, as they provide many opportunities for Hamlet to behave in a sarcastically humorous way toward them, and many felt that Olivier probably would have played these moments brilliantly. However, Olivier did retain a few of Guildenstern's lines ("put your discourse into some frame", etc.) and gave them to Polonius. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: So oft it chances in particular men / That through some vicious mole of nature in them, / By the o'ergrowth of some complexion / Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason, / Or by some habit grown too much; that these men - / Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, / Their virtues else - be they as pure as grace, / Shall in the general censure take corruption / From that particular fault... This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.
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Connections

Version of Hamlet (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The film that set the standard for cinema Shakespeare
13 June 1999 | by (Sierra Vista, Arizona) – See all my reviews

This version has been topped now, but it's still not to be missed if only for nostalgic purposes. The setting, lighting, and cinematography are wondrous; the acting is superb (though by today's standards Olivier perhaps chews the scenery a bit much); the tone is somber and Gothic. And, I feel the tragedy every time I see it. I personally feel too much was cut, and I find fault with Olivier's interpretation: but then again, it's everybody's part now. Ambitious, effective, and just good theater.


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