Richard Chamberlain was inspired to play Hamlet on television after being offered (and playing) the part on the British stage in 1968. He was the first American actor since John Barrymore to do so. 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.
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