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Hamlet Goes Business (1987)
"Hamlet liikemaailmassa" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 998 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

A bizarre black-and-white film noir reworking of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. After the death of his father, young Hamlet inherits a seat on the board of a company controlled by his uncle that ... See full summary »



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Title: Hamlet Goes Business (1987)

Hamlet Goes Business (1987) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius ...
Esko Salminen ...
Elina Salo ...
Esko Nikkari ...
Kari Väänänen ...
Puntti Valtonen ...
Simo (as Hannu Valtonen)
Mari Rantasila ...
Turo Pajala ...
Aake Kalliala ...
Pentti Auer ...
Isä / Haamu
Matti Pellonpää ...
Vesa Mäkelä ...
Maija Leino
Pertti Sveholm


A bizarre black-and-white film noir reworking of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. After the death of his father, young Hamlet inherits a seat on the board of a company controlled by his uncle that decides to move into the rubber duck market. But Hamlet is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his father's death... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

21 August 1987 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Hamlet liikemaailmassa  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Polonius: How are you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: Alright, thank God.
Polonius: Do you know me?
Hamlet: Sure, You are the butcher.
Polonius: No, I'm not.
Hamlet: I wish you were.
Polonius: Why?
Hamlet: It would make you more respectable. Only one man in 10,000 is respectable and even he's nothing much to boast about.
Polonius: That's true.
Hamlet: For if the sun breeds maggots in a dead bitch it's worth the carrion to kiss it. You got a daughter?
See more »


Version of Scope: Hamlet (1955) See more »


Muuttuvat laulut
Composed by Rauno Lehtinen
Written by Tuula Valkama
Performed by Georg Ots
See more »

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User Reviews

No famous soliloquy here

What are you left with if you take most of the psychological motivations away from characters, and turn a story into a social tract? Shakespeare lovers and those who persist on "character development" better beware, as Kaurismaki (in my fourth incursion into his cinema) transforms the Danish prince into a horny, ruthless and spoiled rich heir, who writes bad poetry, is worried about his weight and has a terrible secret. I admit I don't like William Shakespeare much --I believe he's overrated-- so I rather enjoyed Kaurismaki's "irreverence". It is a hint that he does not even give credit to Shakespeare: this story has been told since late 12th century and apparently Thomas Kyd wrote a "Hamlet", before Shakespeare. Kaurismaki is more interested in speculating what may happen to a family like Hamlet's in contemporary settings that seem peculiarly outdated. The first 70 minutes tell the story we know, with a few licenses that in most cases are funny, or simply reveal how the rich and powerful take ruthless decisions without considering their effects on the people they rule. Kaurismaki builds scenes and sequences using resolute ellipsis, a fixed camera, and alienating and ironic music commentaries. Scenes are often resolved in a single take, and to the point (for example, the only time he sees the ghost of his father, Hamlet asks him to talk fast because he does not want to miss dinner, and Kaurismaki cuts to another scene; also there is no famous soliloquy), which made my somewhat uneasy viewing a fast experience. In an aftermath we have never heard of before, Kaurismaki grabbed my full attention, up to his sarcastic end credits against a montage of a factory while a trite tune of hope fills the soundtrack. I found it far more interesting than Brannagh's and Zeffirelli's films.

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