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Hamlet
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Hamlet (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Hamlet -- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   27,776 votes »
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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
William Shakespeare (play)
Kenneth Branagh (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Hamlet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1996 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
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User Reviews:
Two Palettes: Film and Mind See more (216 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Riz Abbasi ... Attendant to Claudius

Richard Attenborough ... English Ambassador
David Blair ... Attendant to Claudius

Brian Blessed ... Ghost of Hamlet's Father

Kenneth Branagh ... Hamlet

Richard Briers ... Polonius
Michael Bryant ... Priest
Peter Bygott ... Attendant to Claudius

Julie Christie ... Gertrude

Billy Crystal ... First Gravedigger
Charles Daish ... Stage Manager

Judi Dench ... Hecuba

Gérard Depardieu ... Reynaldo
Reece Dinsdale ... Guildenstern

Ken Dodd ... Yorick
Angela Douglas ... Attendant to Gertrude
Rob Edwards ... Lucianus

Nicholas Farrell ... Horatio

Ray Fearon ... Francisco
Yvonne Gidden ... Doctor

John Gielgud ... Priam

Rosemary Harris ... Player Queen

Charlton Heston ... Player King

Ravil Isyanov ... Cornelius

Derek Jacobi ... Claudius

Rowena King ... Attendant to Gertrude
Jeffery Kissoon ... Fortinbras's Captain
Sarah Lam ... Attendant to Gertrude

Jack Lemmon ... Marcellus

Ian McElhinney ... Barnardo

Michael Maloney ... Laertes
John Spencer-Churchill ... Fortinbras's Captain (as Duke of Marlborough)

John Mills ... Old Norway

Jimi Mistry ... Sailor Two
Sian Radinger ... Prologue
Melanie Ramsey ... Prostitute

Simon Russell Beale ... Second Gravedigger

Andrew Schofield ... Young Lord

Rufus Sewell ... Fortinbras

Timothy Spall ... Rosencrantz
Thomas Szekeres ... Young Hamlet (as Tom Szekeres)
Ben Thom ... First Player

Don Warrington ... Voltimand

Perdita Weeks ... Second Player

Robin Williams ... Osric

Kate Winslet ... Ophelia
David Yip ... Sailor One
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christopher Bowles ... Cadet in Play (uncredited)

Kenneth W Caravan ... Laertes Mob (uncredited)
Frank Morgan ... Pyrrhus (uncredited)
Melanie Ramsay ... Prostitute (uncredited)

Orlando Seale ... Boatman (uncredited)
Jimmy Yuill ... Alexander (uncredited)

Directed by
Kenneth Branagh 
 
Writing credits
William Shakespeare (play "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark")

Kenneth Branagh (screenplay)

Produced by
David Barron .... producer
 
Original Music by
Patrick Doyle 
 
Cinematography by
Alex Thomson 
 
Film Editing by
Neil Farrell 
 
Casting by
Simone Pereira Hind  (as Simone Ireland)
Vanessa Pereira 
 
Production Design by
Tim Harvey 
 
Art Direction by
Desmond Crowe 
 
Costume Design by
Alexandra Byrne 
 
Makeup Department
Richard Glass .... contact lens optician
Sian Grigg .... makeup artist
Peter Montagna .... makeup artist
Kerrie R. Plant .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Iona Price .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sara Desmond .... third assistant director
Sallie Anne Hard .... second assistant director (as Sallie-Ann Hard)
Simon Moseley .... first assistant director
Richard Styles .... second assistant director
Tom White .... third assistant director
 
Art Department
Celia Bobak .... production buyer
Mick Chubbock .... plasterer
Don Dossett .... assistant art director
Danny Hunter .... property master
Richard Lyon .... construction buyer
Brian Pegg .... plasterer
Michael Redding .... construction coordinator
Jamie Shelley .... painter
Alan Hausmann .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Peter Glossop .... production sound mixer
Tom Glossop .... sound assistant
Tim Hands .... adr editor
Micki Joanni .... synchron editor
Dominic Lester .... sound re-recording mixer
Jonathan Mann .... assistant foley editor
Shaun Mills .... boom operator
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Pennell .... supervising sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Dave Crownshaw .... snow effects supervisor
Michael Dawson .... special effects administrator
Kevin Draycott .... special effects foreman
Manex Efrem .... special effects technician
Darrell Guyon .... senior special effects technician
John Mason .... snow effects technician
Kevin Mathews .... special effects wire technician
Graham Povey .... special effects technician
Valter Santos .... snow effects technician
Jody Taylor .... special effects assistant
Joss Williams .... special effects supervisor
Dave Chagouri .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Mark E. Raymond .... snow effects technician (uncredited)
Mark Sanger .... special effects apprentice (uncredited)
Lucien Stephenson .... snow effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
David Carrigan .... first assistant director: vfx unit
Matthew D'Angibau .... model unit runner
Adrian De Wet .... scanning operator
Tom Debenham .... visual effects designer
Jessie Doyle .... optical trainee
Dan Glass .... visual effects designer
José Granell .... director of miniature effects
Pete Hanson .... studio manager: CFC
Antony Hunt .... visual effects supervisor
Alison O'Brien .... visual effects producer
Joe Pavlo .... scanning operator
Daniel Pettipher .... digital compositor: The Magic Camera Company
Catherine M. Shaw .... assistant producer, scanning and recording: CFC
Andy Stevens .... visual effects camera assistant: Magic Camera Co
Nigel Stone .... director of photography: model unit
Anthony Wonsoff .... visual effects assistant
 
Stunts
Andy Bennett .... stunt performer
Simon Crane .... stunt coordinator
Tom Delmar .... stunt double: Hamlet's Father
Tom Delmar .... stunts
Sarah Franzl .... stunt performer
Steve Griffin .... stunts
Paul Herbert .... stunts
Sean McCabe .... assistant stunt coordinator
Sean McCabe .... stunt double: Hamlet
Ray Nicholas .... stunts
Andreas Petrides .... stunt double: Laertes
Royston Munt .... horse stunt (uncredited)
Peter Pedrero .... utility stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Appleby .... key grip
Robert Binnall .... first assistant camera
Tony Cridlin .... grip
Scott Holland .... video assistant
Tony Jackson .... camera operator
Martin Kenzie .... camera operator
Rolf Konow .... still photographer
Ossa Mills .... rigging gaffer
Nic Milner .... camera operator
David Morani .... gaffer
Robert Palmer .... second assistant camera
Chyna Thomson .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
George Richmond .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Richard Cooke .... costume trainee
Dan Grace .... dresser to Mr. Branagh
Andrew Hunt .... costume assistant
Sharon Long .... costume supervisor
Debbie Scott .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Simon Astbury .... colorist: rushes
Jens Baylis .... assistant editor
Robbie Broughton .... assistant editor
Dan Farrell .... associate editor (as Daniel Farrell)
Paul King .... negative cutter
Melanie Viner-Cuneo .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Lawrence Ashmore .... orchestrator
Patrick Doyle .... music producer
Gerard McCann .... music editor
Roy Prendergast .... supervising music editor
Maggie Rodford .... music producer
Randy Spendlove .... executive music producer
Robert Ziegler .... conductor
John Bell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Geoff Foster .... score recordist (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Terry Pritchard .... driver: Kenneth Branagh
 
Other crew
Ben Burt .... floor runner
Nick Daubeny .... location manager
Lindy Davies .... performance consultant
Lil Heyman .... production coordinator
Russell Jackson .... text consultant (as Dr. Russell Jackson)
Annie Penn .... script supervisor (as Annie Wotton)
Kevin Phelan .... 65 mm scanning and recording producer: The Computer Film Company
Nick Powell .... fight arranger
Nick Powell .... sword master
Helen Seery .... assistant accountant
Rebecca Erwin Spencer .... assistant: Mr. Williams
Phil Stoole .... production assistant
Tamar Thomas .... assistant: Mr Branagh
Susan Weeks .... tutor chaperone
Tom White .... location assistant
Robin Demetriou .... catering supervisor (uncredited)
Adam D. Wright .... distribution executive (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Stephen Fry .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"William Shakespeare's Hamlet" - USA (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some violent images and sexuality
Runtime:
242 min | 150 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby Digital (35 mm prints) | SDDS (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The title of Hamlet's play-within-a-play is "The Murder of Gonzago", which may or may not have been extrapolated from an Italian prose work. However, when asked its title by Claudius, Hamlet responds by bestowing on it a new moniker, which reflects its purpose (to "catch the conscience of the King") - he calls it "The Mousetrap".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Hamlet and Polonius are walking down a hallway discussing Hamlet's sanity, in one shot Hamlet is holding a skull mask, and in the next it's gone.See more »
Quotes:
Hamlet:If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
In PaceSee more »

FAQ

Does Branagh really include all of Shakespeare's play in his film script?
Is it true that Hamlet faked his madness?
Did Hamlet really love Ophelia?
See more »
59 out of 82 people found the following review useful.
Two Palettes: Film and Mind, 25 May 2000
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

As a play, Hamlet is an anchor of civilization, and even moderately successful films are worth seeing. But in making the translation to film, the artist has two challenges.

The first concerns the work as drama. This is Shakespeare's most ambitious vision, one he tinkered with and enlarged both conceptually and literally. The purest choice, the only choice which can encompass the full weave of the work, is to include everything -- and that's what Branagh has done. Consequently, this work has extra dimensions of life. In doing so, he's included some nice touches:

--gone are superficial hints of mother-lust in the closet scene. These were never in the text.

--we are reminded that Hamlet's initial and sustaining anger is because his uncle jumped into the line of succession

--we see the hints that Hamlet was a student of Bruno in the book on witchcraft he consults after seeing the ghost. Also his book on `matters' (often thought to be Bruno's) is actually given to Ophelia. Nice. Shows deep research.

--Polonius is treated humanely, as more than a dottering fool. This makes Ophelia's loss (and earlier obedience) believable.

The second challenge is cinematic. The play was written for sparse settings; it translates naturally to audio tape and unnaturally to film. So the filmmaker has an open palette. Branagh makes some interesting choices. Many work extremely well, in particular the mirrors in the `to be' and Ophelia sequence. Others are strange:

--he introduces recognizable actors in secondary roles to jar us into the realization that this is a play. (One of these is really funny. How do you portray an actor among actors playing non-actors. Well, you get a noticeably BAD actor. I wonder if Heston knows he'll be goofed on for this for many decades as this film outlives his sandled perorations.)

--he introduces some almost satirical film reflections: a cheesy ghost, an Errol Flynn chandelier swing...

--he provides visual overlays for some of the images implied in the text: Hamlet's lovemaking, considerations in Norway, reflections of the players. This ruins a few of the important ambiguities but we do have a wealth to spend after all.

--in perhaps the worst loss of ambiguity, he makes Fortinbras an invader. This is done only to allow for some cinematic sweep at the end. Okay, I'll reluctantly buy it since the alternative is extended mugging in the death scenes.

I think Branagh and collaborators meet the first challenge nearly perfectly. As to the second challenge, this is our very best film version, in part because of extending the US tradition of playing the characters as real people (versus the UK tradition of characters as speechifiers). So far as the cinematic challenge, there are some great, really great visions here, but there are also some big cinematic misses which keeps this far from perfect. Until Greenaway attempts it, this is the best film Hamlet we have, and that simply makes it one of the best, most rewarding films ever. I'll bet Branagh tries again before he dies.

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Is the netflix version.... michael-colan
Mel Gibson or Kenneth Branagh? starry-eyed_wanderer
Question about Gertrude Tarnim80
Never had i seen the main actor before. KleonLLL
Time for a new Hamlet? kenellenar
My favorite film adaptation of a Shakepeare play ever... kitkat8541
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