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

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

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) »

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From the author of "Romeo and Juliet"... the love story of Hamlet and Ophelia. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 April 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare's Hamlet  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Harris had also tried to set up a rival production at the same time . His version was to be directed by actor Frank Silvera, with Faye Dunaway as Ophelia and music by Jimmy Web, but it fell through when Richardson started shooting. In 1971 it almost got greenlit again , this time with Harris himself directing. Ophelia would now be played by Mia Farrow, with Peter Ustinov as Polonious, and George C. Scott as Claudius, but Paramount got cold feet and the project failed to materialise. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

intriguing
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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