IMDb > Hamlet (1990)
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Hamlet (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Hamlet -- Trailer


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View company contact information for Hamlet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 January 1991 (USA) See more »
The extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tale of vengeance and tragedy.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans revenge. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(3 articles)
Actor Paul Scofield Dies at 86
 (From IMDb News. 20 March 2008)

Actor Alan Bates Dies at 69
 (From IMDb News. 28 December 2003)

Mel Gibson's Film Company Signs Deal With Fox
 (From WENN. 18 March 2002)

User Reviews:
Movie Review See more (92 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Franco Zeffirelli 
Writing credits
William Shakespeare (play)

Christopher De Vore (screenplay) &
Franco Zeffirelli (screenplay)

Produced by
Bruce Davey .... executive producer
Dyson Lovell .... producer
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
Film Editing by
Richard Marden 
Casting by
Joyce Nettles 
Production Design by
Dante Ferretti 
Art Direction by
Franco Ceraolo 
Michael Lamont 
Jim Morahan  (as James Morahan)
Antonio Tarolla 
Alan Tomkins 
Set Decoration by
Francesca Lo Schiavo 
Costume Design by
Maurizio Millenotti 
Makeup Department
Eric Allwright .... makeup artist
Lois Burwell .... makeup artist: Mel Gibson
Franco Corridoni .... supervising makeup artist
Maria Teresa Corridoni .... supervising hairdresser
Alberta Giuliani .... hair stylist
Paolo Mantini .... hair stylist
Daniel Parker .... prosthetics: Mel Gibson
Jean-Luc Russier .... makeup artist: Ms. Close
Maurizio Silvi .... makeup assistant
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cliff Lanning .... third assistant director
Michael Murray .... first assistant director
Gerry Toomey .... second assistant director
Kevin Westley .... second assistant director
Lucien Morgan .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Andrew Ackland-Snow .... draughtsman
Brian Aldridge .... dressing props
Brian Bishop .... scenic artist
Celia Bobak .... production buyer
Alan Cheevers .... plasterer
George Coussins .... supervising carpenter
Eddie Francis .... dressing props (as Edward Francis)
Gavin Gordon .... carpenter
James Hambidge .... art department runner
Darren Hayward .... carpenter
Michael Hayward .... supervising carpenter
Bert Hearn .... property master
Richard Lyon .... construction storeman
Mickey Pugh .... stand-by props
Michael Redding .... construction coordinator
John Wells .... stand-by props
Bill Pearson .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gerry Bates .... boom swinger
Terry Busby .... assistant sound editor
Mike Dowson .... adr mixer
Dean Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
Tim Lewiston .... assistant sound editor
Archie Ludski .... dialogue editor
Tony Message .... footsteps editor
John Pitt .... sound maintenance
Lawrence Sibley .... sound assistant
David Stephenson .... sound mixer
Nicholas Stevenson .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Ian Wingrove .... special effects supervisor
Visual Effects by
Angus Bickerton .... model unit camera operator
Graeme Crowther .... stunt double (as Graham Crowther)
Paul Jennings .... stunt double
Tina Maskell .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Fred Brown .... electrician
Derek V. Browne .... camera operator (as Derek Browne)
Peter Butler .... grip
Chuck Finch .... gaffer
Tommy Finch .... best boy (as Tom Finch)
Alan Grosch .... electrician
Graham Hall .... camera loader
Keith Hamshere .... still photographer
Simon Hume .... focus puller
Billy Merrell .... best boy (as Bill Merrell)
Simon Mills .... focus puller: second camera
Spencer Murray .... camera trainee
Keegan O'Neill .... camera trainee
Stuart Reid .... electrician
Jonathan Taylor .... camera operator
Toby Tyler .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Birkinshaw .... wardrobe assistant (as John Birkenshaw)
Anne Brault .... assistant costume designer
Robyn Elliott .... costume buyer (as Robyn Elliot)
Alan Flyng .... wardrobe master
Frank Gardiner .... assistant costume designer
Annie Hadley .... chief costume cutter
Linda Lashley .... costumer
Geoff Lawrence .... wardrobe assistant
Alfonsina Lettieri .... wardrobe assistant
Richard Pointing .... wardrobe supervisor
Gerardo Sacco .... principal jewelry designed and supplied by
Enrico Serafini .... assistant costume designer
Pat Williamson .... wardrobe assistant
Dominic Young .... costume maker
Editorial Department
Roy Birchley .... first assistant editor
Jeremy Child .... second assistant editor
Andrew MacRitchie .... assistant editor
Matthew Tucker .... assistant editor
Location Management
Nick Daubeny .... location manager (as Nicholas Daubeny)
Adam Somner .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Robin Clarke .... music editor (as Robin Clark)
Enrico DeMelis .... general music coordinator
Sergio Marcotulli .... music engineer
Fabio Venturi .... assistant music engineer
Other crew
Angela Allen .... script supervisor
Luciano Bacchielli .... assistant: Mr. Zeffirelli
Jill Bennett .... production accountant
Maurice Binder .... title designer
Lucia Boni .... hand woven fabrics by
Terri Depaolo .... assistant: Mel Gibson
Terri Depaolo .... unit publicist
Susan Gee .... production financing
William Hobbs .... duel arranger
Julie Hoffman .... assistant: Mr. Zeffirelli
Pauline Hume .... graphic artist: titles
Lyndy Noakes .... assistant accountant
Alison Odell .... assistant to producer
Kay Rouse .... assistant: Ms. Close
Clare St. John .... production coordinator
Roy Street .... horse master
Alan Sutton .... fire safety
Paul Tucker .... production controller
Sara-Jane Valentine .... production assistant
Beverly Winston .... assistant script supervisor
Dalisa Cohen .... grateful acknowledgments
Alexander Gelderman .... grateful acknowledgments
Bryan Isaacs .... grateful acknowledgments
Ruth Jackson .... grateful acknowledgments
Mario Kassar .... grateful acknowledgments
Paul Kijzer .... grateful acknowledgments
Eveleen McCormack .... grateful acknowledgments
Charles R. Meeker .... grateful acknowledgments (as Charles Meeker)
Kari Ann Messina .... grateful acknowledgments
Richard Northcott .... grateful acknowledgment
John Ort .... grateful acknowledgment
Nigel Sinclair .... special thanks
Barry Spikings .... grateful acknowledgments

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
135 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:M (blu-ray) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Finland:K-11 | Germany:12 | Iceland:L | Peru:PT | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 (2016) | South Korea:12 (1991) | Sweden:11 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:PG

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 »
Continuity: 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 »
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1997)See more »


What does Zeffirelli cut from Shakespeare's original play?
See more »
16 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Movie Review, 29 October 2007
Author: Thien Nguyen from United States

Hamlet Movie Review

The movie "Hamlet," released in January 18, 1991, shows director Franco Zeffirelli's selections of Shakespeare's original Hamlet and reflects one intriguing possibility of the text. There are various interpretations of each character and the story; however, no one vision can adequately encompass every perspective of the play. The text, of course, will always exist in permanent form and it is up to the individual's interpretation to make the story their own. Zeffirelli did a terrific job at directing such a complex story into a film easily understood by viewers.

In most translations from books to movies, producers sacrifice certain elements to narrow the focus and make the film unique to his style. The use of film techniques, compared to the Victorian stage plays, allows different dramatic developments in the story. Thus, the movie unfolds at a different pace than stage play, creating a whole new dynamic between scene transitioning. Christopher de Vore's skill as a screenwriter accurately portrays the characters without detracting from Shakespeare's language. For example, the prologue in the beginning of the movie demonstrates the enthrallment of Hamlet Senior as a ghost. Retaining the originality to the dialogue in the text, the movie is still unique to the director's vision. Most importantly, the director's interpretation of the story works well in developing the depth of each character without creating a new twist in the story of "Hamlet." Although he cut some essential parts from the play, Zeffirelli employed his own style and created an amazing tribute to Shakespeare. He edited parts of the movie and rearranged it to create a story that would make sense to contemporary audiences. Through this, he gives in an apparent life to the play which moves well from beginning to end.

Shakespeare's play is not at all about the story. The story is just the outer armor on which some life altering metaphoric structure is built around. For example, Hamlet Junior bellows, "Tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity, and pity 'tis true." From Hamlet Junior's first meeting with Hamlet Senior's ghost, he is profoundly disturbed and begins to question his mentality and judgment of reality. Ironically, he pretends to be crazy to conceal his true plans to kill his uncle Claudius. Zeffirelli has a fine sense of coloring in each scene with movement between light and dark, and good and evil. Zeffirelli focuses on the characters and allows them lead the storyline without compromising the text's originality.

One complaint is that Mel Gibson seemed to be too old for the role of Hamlet, thereby making Glenn Close too young to be Gertrude. The issue of Hamlet's age has always been a problem. According to the text, he is supposed to be in his thirties; however, that makes some of his relationships with Ophelia, for instance, seem pedophiliac. Yet, if Hamlet is portrayed too young, the depth of his thought is almost impossible to imagine. I thought he was a good actor; particularly in reciting the Shakespearean lines is something I have found most important to my understanding of the story. His passion clearly portrays a son who has gone through madness over his father's death, contemplation of murdering his uncle, and the incestuous marriage of his mother. Gibson not only gives a convincing depiction of Hamlet's cloak of madness, but also shows us the desperation of the character in his quiet moments as Hamlet is not a man who could not make up his mind, but rather, one who riddled with uncertainty. Thus, Gibson spends much of the film alternating between mania-induced impulsiveness and paralyzing inability to function with sanity. Glenn Close is amazing as she portrays Gertrude as a real character, with traits both shameful and empathetic. Helena Bonham-Carter's performance is astounding as well, especially her moment of lunacy as Ophelia in reacting to the death of her father, Polonius. The cast of characters in this version of Hamlet was more than enough to bring Shakespeare's stage theater alive on screen.

Overall, I believe that this is a good foundation to understanding the language of Hamlet further, and would be supplemented with the Shakespearean text. I commend Zeferelli as a master filmmaker for his directing skills. I would promote this acclaimed film to anyone who has ever marveled at Shakespearean language and would like to watch a film literature as well.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Anyone find the Hamlet/Gertrude kiss just a little bit weird? squeekyfish
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