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Hamlet (1969)

G  |   |  Drama  |  September 1969 (UK)
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Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's remarriage to Claudius... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Dignam ...
Michael Pennington ...
Ben Aris ...
Clive Graham ...
Peter Gale ...
First Player / Gravedigger
John J. Carney ...
Player King (as John Carney)
Richard Everett ...
Robin Chadwick ...
Ian Collier ...


Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's remarriage to Claudius. When the ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him and tells him that Claudius has poisoned him, Hamlet swears revenge. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | tragedy | revenge | prince | ghost | See All (51) »


The Hamlet of our time, for our time. See more »




G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare's Hamlet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Extra lines, made to sound like Elizabethan English, were actually added to this version because the order of two crucial scenes was reversed and this could not have been done with the play as written. Director Tony Richardson places Hamlet's taunting of Polonius after the "get thee to a nunnery" scene with Ophelia rather than several scenes before. See more »


At c. 147 minutes Gertrude's fillings, obviously the result of C20th dentistry, can be seen clearly. See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of the film's cast and the names of the characters they play are recited by an offscreen voice rather than shown on the screen, in the manner of 'Francois Truffaut' 's "Fahrenheit 451". See more »


Version of Hamlet (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

25 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Tony Richardson's production, faithfully reconstructed from the stage version and filmed in situ at the Roundhouse, has some very odd casting: Nicol Williamson plays Hamlet, morose and black suited, spitting his lines at the screen like a malevolent spider; Anthony Hopkins (younger in real life) plays his stepfather and Royal usurper Claudius. Judy Parfitt (excellent) plays a seductive Gertrude, while Marianne Faithfull plays Ophelia (and actually does it quite well; I read she didn't have particularly good memories of the role but she comes closer to the character than a lot of the more accomplished actresses I've seen tackle it). Michael Pennington is wasted, really, as Laertes. Roger Livesey appears as Player King and is very good in one of his last film roles.

The play itself is shorn to minimalism, very short, very staccato. This works well for some of the scenes - the Ghost's appearance, for example; the scene with Hamlet and Ophelia when they are being observed; the 'words words words' bit; and Hamlet's visit to his mother's room before his dispatch to England. I'm not sure about the soliloquies to camera, or certainly whether they come across as well as they would have done in the theatre. But it is a fascinating record of an eccentric collection of performances.

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