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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 »
User Reviews:
Electronovision... Forgotten technique capturing Glory 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:
Richard Burton's adoptive father, Philip Burton, had to intervene and help his son with his interpretation of the melancholy Dane, as well as help other cast members who were confused by director John Gielgud's direction (or lack of it). Philip had been estranged from Richard since the younger Burton left his wife and two daughters to hook up with Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra (1963). Though the two hadn't spoken since the breakup of Richard's marriage, Taylor called Philip and told him that Richard was struggling under Gielgud's direction. Four years earlier, Philip had stepped in to help director Moss Hart with the direction of the 1960 Broadway musical "Camelot" after Hart had had a heart-attack. Father and son were reconciled, and under Philip's tutelage, Richard Burton ultimately presented a Hamlet that was more of the old Jacobian "Revenger" type (known colloquially as "Belleforest" after an adulterated version of the play dating from the 18th Century) that was the antithesis of the Gielgud-Laurence Olivier German Romantic conception of Hamlet that had dominated the English-speaking stage in the 20th century. (In addition to fusing Freud with the Bard, Olivier did add Revenger flourishes to his Hamlet, though, by making the character somewhat of a swashbuckler. However, Belleforest-style Hamlets, such as the one presented by Albert Finney at the National Theatre in 1975, were considered "old-fashioned" as they underplayed the psychology so dear to 20th Century audiences and were typically panned by critics.) Prior to his step-father's help, Richard Burton had found himself unable to convincingly play a Romantic Hamlet under Gielgud's direction. Ironically, as the long run of his Broadway Hamlet went on, a bored Burton would vary his Hamlet night by night according to how he felt. According to his own memoirs, Richard Burton might one night present the prince as a homosexual, while another night add German words to the text in order to see if anyone noticed. Some theatrical mavens who had returned to the theater to see the fiery Hamlet of the opening days of the production criticized Burton for his lack of discipline.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Hamlet (1976)See more »

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Electronovision... Forgotten technique capturing Glory, 10 June 2002
Author: wob wobelix from amsterdam

Looking at this stage performance on dvd (and thank goodness it is available !!!) you will probably start with thinking: well, this is a relic, and so it will be great. The start will confirm that. Lighting is crude, and camera-angles give purely the idea of being inside a theatre (which is marvelous !! why don't they do this more often ? Why not make more dvd's of glorious stage performances ?!) After a while though, the performance takes over. This is Shakespeare, but quick-paced and lucid, never heavy or dull. This is Shakespeare in the 60ies. And it is true magic. It is just what we need nowadays ! Magnificently acted and paced and just that touch of humor, openness and charm ... All what we are lacking today. Look around us !! We can do with another shot of the cocktail we call 60ies ! Look around us ! Within this HAMLET, so classical and so brilliantly played, breathes the 60ies. Only the undertone, yes. But is there. How refreshing.

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