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Hamlet (1990)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  18 January 1991 (USA)
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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 overview, first billed only:
Sean Murray ...
Richard Warwick ...
Dave Duffy ...


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 (92) »


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




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amlet  »

Box Office


$20,710,451 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mel Gibson founded his production company Icon to raise the financing for this film, as no major studio wanted to back a Shakespeare film. See more »


Polonius gets stabbed through the stomach/chest area, but when he is lying on the floor, he is bleeding from the back of the head and the wound where he is stabbed is non-existent. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Endless Love (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A genius adaptation
16 April 1999 | by (Virginia, US) – See all my reviews

Zeferelli, although cut some seemingly vital parts to the play, made it his own, and created a beautiful tribute to Shakespeare. I am sure if the Bard had a camera, he would have filmed and wrote the screenplay somewhat the same.

Mel Gibson has portrayed Hamlet in the most true-to-human nature as anyone ever has. His brooding and depressing personality is realistic. Gibson doesn't allow the madness to overcome him. He is passionate, powerful and the epitome of the son who has gone through hell over his father's death and incestuous marriage of his mother. His performance brings tears to my eyes.

Glenn Close is amazing; her motherly attitude and sincerity toward Hamlet is so much that one sometimes cannot feel anger towards her. Close gives life to Gertrude that no one has been able to before or after. She is a real character, with traits both despicable and kind.

The other performances are astounding, especially when it comes to Helena Bonham-Carter's moment of lunacy in Ophelia. Her reaction to her father's death is so convincing and terribly sad that I cry at merely seeing her.

The interpretation of the story is a perfect one that required surely a great amount of thought and reading of the very play. Zeferelli interprets it so well, that it flows like real life. Every aspect comes together to form a very real event.

Zeferelli is a master filmmaker, and I highly suggest this film to anyone who has ever marveled at the human spirit portrayed through film, and literature as well.

47 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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