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Hamlet (1964/I) More at IMDbPro »

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Plot:
The highly successful 1964 Richard Burton Broadway production of "Hamlet", deliberately staged in the style of a "dress rehearsal", but performed in front of a live audience. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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If you are considering this, then you should see it See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Bill Colleran 
John Gielgud 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William Shakespeare  play

Produced by
Alexander H. Cohen .... producer: stage production
Alfred W. Crown .... producer
John Heyman .... producer
William Sargent Jr. .... executive producer (as Bill Sargent)
William Sargent Jr. .... producer (as Bill Sargent)
 
Cinematography by
Bill Colleran 
 
Film Editing by
Bruce B. Pierce 
 
Production Design by
Ben Edwards 
 
Costume Design by
Jane Greenwood 
 
Sound Department
James Fritch .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Nobby Cross .... gaffer
Jean Rosenthal .... lighting designer (stage production)
 
Other crew
Alexander H. Cohen .... presenter
John Gielgud .... stage director
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Richard Burton's Hamlet" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
Runtime:
191 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director John Gielgud had, of course, played Hamlet years before on stage. Cast opposite him, as Ophelia, was Jessica Tandy, whose husband, Hume Cronyn plays Ophelia's father Polonius in this film.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Hamlet (1960) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
If you are considering this, then you should see it, 8 November 2007
Author: bandw from Boulder, CO

The fact that you are even thinking about watching this means that there is a high probability that you will like it, since you either like the play or like Burton or both. Any fan of Burton will delight in his performance and any lover of the play should appreciate the no-frills approach. The text is closely followed and not much is deleted. This is not really a movie, but the filming of an actual stage performance presented in front of an audience. By design the production is carried out as though it were a dress rehearsal, with minimal props and most actors appearing in street clothes.

The filming was done in "Electronovision" which appears to be an early method of filming directly from an electronic camera. Several of these cameras were used, providing scenes viewed from different angles and distances. The quality is much higher than the kinescopes of early TV (which were obtained by filming from a camera monitor) but markedly lower than black and white film of the period. Close-ups are good and actually have a quality that is reminiscent of certain contemporary independent films, but shots of the stage filmed at a distance are not as satisfactory. In any case, since Electronovision seems to have met an early death, you are not likely to see anything like this again.

Burton's Hamlet is not so melancholy, but rather angry, sardonic, and impish. He also brings a nimble athleticism to the role. The sword play is well done; it made me nervous watching it. It's hard to think of a contemporary actor who could pull this off. Hume Cronyn turns in a memorable performance as Polonius.

It is interesting to contrast this with Branagh's complete-text film which is in color and very much a movie and not the filming of a stage play. Burton's Hamlet is another example of how every production of this play is unique.

The DVD is available from Amazon.

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