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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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.




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Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amlet  »

Box Office


$20,710,451 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play uses the words "honest" and "honesty" many times, because the drama carries the themes of both honorableness and truthfulness/deceit. When Hamlet asks Ophelia if she is honest, that word, in Shakespeare's time, first meant honorable and secondly meant truthful. He was asking if she was good. When he asks her if she is fair, he doesn't ask whether she considers herself impartial and principled, but whether she considers herself beautiful. Of course, Hamlet puns all the time, so the audience should anticipate all possible meanings of his words. See more »


In his "To be or not to be" monologue, Hamlet says, "the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns." He is visiting his father's tomb, yet he forgets that his father's ghost did indeed return from that undiscovered country. 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.
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Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin/Tori Amos (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I love this Hamlet!
26 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film was my first introduction to the story of Hamlet, and though condensed and simplified it did a magnificent job. I was only 11, but it made me fall madly in love with Hamlet. After reading it, it quickly became my favorite Shakespeare play. I love how clear and defined the film is, while still having the essence of Shakespeare's intent. The acting is so intense, yet believable. I love the interpretation of the era, and how the delivery of the lines made them so easy to grasp without losing the authenticity. The play is really long and repetitive, so I think this movie did a fantastic job of really getting the meat. In some other Shakespeare film adaptations I've seen the lines are stale and rehearsed, and it really shocks me that someone could accuse these actors of being out of touch with the dialog. I found it to be quite the opposite. So many of the scenes are just so juicy. They really capture the story's power and depth. Plus, I'm really into that period, so I found it difficult to get into Branagh's film, no matter how good it was, *and* I really can't stand to watch Kenneth Branaugh. He really irritates me because I feel like he uses this same set of annoying expressions for every couple phrases. Huge apologies to all those out there who worship him. It's just how I feel. This version is just more my cup of tea in so many ways.

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