Hamlet (1960)
"Hamlet, Prinz von Dänemark" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 2.4/10 from 507 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 4 critic

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Caninenberg ...
Wanda Rotha ...
Dunja Movar ...
Franz Schafheitlin ...
Dieter Kirchlechner ...
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Eckart Dux ...
Rosencrantz (as Eckard Dux)
Herbert Bötticher ...
Karl Lieffen ...
Rolf Boysen ...
Michael Paryla ...
Alexander Engel ...
Adolf Gerstung ...
Paul Verhoeven ...


Hamlet returns to his remarkably minimalistic palace in Denmark and finds out his father is dead and his uncle Claudius has married his mother Gertrude. His father's ghost appears, and tells Hamlet to avenge him forthwith. Hamlet stages a play to confirm Claudius' guilt and his mother's compliance, but then inadvertently kills his girlfriend Ophelia's father, Polonius. This drives her insane, while her brother Laertes sets out to avenge his father's death. In a climactic swordfight, Claudius tries to poison Hamlet with Laertes' sword and a poisoned cup. Gertrude takes the poison cup out of guilt, while Hamlet realizes Laertes' sword is poisoned... Written by <crow_steve@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

denmark | poison | death | play | ghost | See All (39) »


Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hamlet  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of the cast, including Maximilian Schell and Karl Michael Vogler, had been involved in the Munich August Festival production of the play, in 1960, which interpreted Hamlet as a political idealist fighting a crooked dictator (Claudius), echoing the country's recent struggle with Nazism. The film was well-received in Germany but received only limited release in America due to technical problems and trouble finding a distributor. See more »


Towards the end of the "What time is it?" scene the boom mic is clearly visible in the top left hand corner of the screen. See more »


Version of Lletres catalanes (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

NOT to be....
16 September 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've seen all kinds of "Hamlet"s.

Kenneth Branagh's was most ambitious, Mel Gibson's was quick and to the point, Laurence Olivier's was the best - hands down. But now we come to Maximilian Schell's take on the Bard.

For one, this is a dubbed version of a German TV production of William Shakespeare's venerable chestnut. But if there's a slower, more plodding, more lethargic and worse-staged version out there somewhere, it must have been acted at grade school-level.

Having seen it on MST3K helps, with Mike and the robots taking jolly good jabs at the old boy, puncturing the profundity of black and white TV, Shakespeare and the wisdom (?) of Germans acting out an English play and making it look like an Ingmar Bergman reject.

Of course, the best parts are the MST riffs. Best lines? "I'm gonna unleash the Great Dane", "I don't think so, 'breather'", "Meet the Beatles", "Hey, Dad, will you help me with my science project" and, my personal favorite, during a party - "Garrison Keillor's leaving Germany (YAAAY!!)".

But then there's Schell, playing Shakespeare's greatest character much like a department store mannequin would, only not as expressive. No doubt he's a great actor, but here he comes off about as well as Paul Newman in "The Silver Chalice". Ever see that one? You GOTTA watch these two on a double-bill!

In the end, this is one instance where it's true that you're much better off to just read the book. At least the book isn't dubbed by Ricardo Montalban.

One star only for this "Hamlet"; ten stars, naturally, for the MST3K version.

Good-night, not-so-sweet prince.

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