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Hamlet (1990)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  18 January 1991 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 15,428 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 89 user | 28 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans revenge.

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Title: Hamlet (1990)

Hamlet (1990) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Hamlet returns to Denmark when his father, the King, dies. His mother Gertrude has already married Hamlet's uncle Claudius, the new King. They urge Hamlet to marry his beloved Ophelia. But soon the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and tells Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius and Gertrude. Hamlet must choose between passive acquiescence and the need for a vengeance which might lead to tragedy. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | denmark | ghost | prince | revenge | See All (95) »

Taglines:

The extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tale of vengeance and tragedy.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amlet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$20,710,451 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Bates, who plays Claudius, previously played Hamlet on stage. Derek Jacobi, who played Claudius six years later in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), also previously played Hamlet. See more »

Goofs

During Ophelia's lament, she reaches out with one arm to anyone who will help. In the next shot, the opposite arm is outstretched. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Claudius: Hamlet! Think of us as of a father. For let the world take note: you are the most immediate to our throne. And with no less nobility of love than that which dearest father bears his son do I impart toward you.
See more »

Connections

Version of A Herança (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Alas poor Hamlet, I know you
29 May 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Having just completed a review of the Branagh Hamlet, I felt it fair to offer my two cents on this one also.

Shakespeare is not above criticism. Nor does a person require a Ph.D to enjoy, or even interpret his words. While the historical plays may benefit from some due diligence to flesh out the finer points, the plays were written for a colloquial Elizabethan audience who were hungry for entertainment, innovation and also a little sex and violence.

Not too different from people today I think.

Hamlet is a very complicated play about a conflicted, hallucinogenic kid who struggles to cope with an uneasy, perhaps immoral, relationship with his mother and the marriage of her to his uncle after the sudden death of his father. It's heavy stuff, and boy does it get heavier. All that said it can easily serve as digestible entertainment on the level of a vengeance story. There is a reason this play has lived for so long. A mathematician may even call it invariant with time. No matter how you transform it, the song remains the same. Even if this version of the song isn't perfect, it's largely a delight to the ear and also the eye. It is also quite accessible and easy to follow. I watched this movie and felt at home and also entertained.

So enough of that. What about this movie? Well in nearly every area I demonized the Branagh production, this Franco Zeffirelli one excels. The ambiance is richer and more convincing in the dank castle halls. The editing flows surprisingly well for a two hour performance. The long lensing really zeroes in on the performances. There is a wealth of context in the relationships of Hamlet with all the major players. It feels as if Zeffirelli is acutely aware of subtext and exploits it with subtlety at every turn. With some exception, the actors are all steeped in the part and not simply engaging in dry recitation. Paul Scofield is absolutely scorching as the Ghost, who may, or may not actually exist. Ian Holm as Polonius is vibrant and also sad. Helena Bonham-Carter is just about perfect for Ophelia. Glen Close too really nails her unfortunately small part.

Mel Gibson? Well he doesn't do all that bad. You really do take Hamlet as crazy, that's for sure. But Lethal Weapon could have easily been passed over for somebody better. On the other hand, without him, the film probably wouldn't have ever been made. To be or not to be I guess.


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