Richard Chamberlain was caught between a rock and a hard place trying to appease the television audience of the day with his Hamlet. If he made it too cerebral it would turn off millions of viewers, if it was too lightweight he would not be taken seriously. In the end a compromise was made and the director cut 2000 lines of dialog from the production in order to make it more digestible to those in America who had never heard of Hamlet and those in Britain who only knew Hamlet "as some grumpy guy from the past". See more »
In the Navy, I literally fought to see Olivier's Hamlet. My crew mates pointed to the bruises they had inflicted and wondered why I had suffered them. On the other hand, there is Chamberlain's Hamlet. His is not a Freudian Oedipal study. His is not an exercise in masculine/feminine sides of a character. Chamberlain's Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. He is angry with his mother's infidelity to the fresh loss of his father. He is demanding revenge of himself for his father's murder. And most important. He is expecting to be crowned king. There is no loss of character study. There is no wanting for complex relationships. The is the dynamic portrait of the young noble. Nor is this Shakespere Shakespeared. Rather it takes the advise of the script and "speak(s) the speech, I pray thee as I have spoken it unto you, trippingly on the tongue." The cast, universally, plays believable characters. Even(of course, it's Geilgud),The murdered king is believable. The staging is magnificent. And to take nothing from the stage fighting skills of the actors, this required good choreography as well. If I missed the downside of this Hamlet, it is because the shortfalls are so overwhelmed by this production. One is drawn into the play and not inclined to pick nits. The crew of the USS BOWEN would have fought to have seen this.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?