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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Cast

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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

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Plot Keywords:

king | murder | revenge | prince | royal | See All (315) »

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The motion picture of all time...for all time! (Print ad for re-release 1954)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 August 1948 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Amlet  »

Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Olivier was 41 when "Hamlet" was released. Eileen Herlie, who played Hamlet's mother Gertrude, was 30. Herlie also played Gertrude on Broadway in 1964 with Richard Burton's Hamlet (1964), which was filmed and shown in a limited release. Whereas she was 11 years younger than her "son" when Hamlet was played by Olivier, she was seven years older than Burton. 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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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

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. See more »

Connections

Version of A Herança (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the most powerful hamlet ever portrayed
12 May 1999 | by (grinnell, ia) – See all my reviews

Olivier is absolutely mesmerizing as the dane of Denmark. I have seen Gibson's and Branagh's versions, and Olivier is still far and away the most impressive performance. Whenever I think of Hamlet, I always think of Olivier's Hamlet. The picture as a whole is very well done, although in parts it can seem a bit chinsy. Olivier (as director) firmly establishes the mood for the picture, and the ensemble acting is terrific. Watch for a very pompous Polonius!


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