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The Fifteen Minute Hamlet (1995)

| Comedy, Short
Shakespeare films Hamlet on a single reel then, after an initial screening, edits it down to the bare bones.



(play), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Ernest Perry Jr. ...
Bernardo / Horatio / Laertes (as Philip S. Hoffman)
Angie Phillips ...
The Courier
Tom Flowers ...
The Musician
Michael Goldberg ...
A Producer
Tommy Swerdlow ...
A King


A tongue-in-cheek take on the film industry as if it existed in Elizabethan times. Director William Shakespeare shoots "Hamlet" in one reel, seemingly in one continuous take. When he screens this silly but accurate 15-minute version to a studio boss, he's told he needs to trim it down to make it more commercial. He begrudgingly does so, with surprising results...from the audience and himself. Written by Kevin Gillease <gillease@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Short





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User Reviews

A brilliant film adaptation of Stoppard's Play.
23 February 2000 | by (CT, USA) – See all my reviews

This short film has stayed true to its theatrical roots and has broken new ground in filmmaking. A director makes a 15-minute film adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which he must cut down several times with hilarious consequences, to its final length of 1 minute.

The first 15-minute version contains almost no cuts, feeling very alive, like its theatrical counterpart. However, the director is no slave to the tripod, moving the camera constantly between sets and actors. The Director also straddles the line between abstract and realistic film, by dressing the set with props relevant to the plot and closing in on them at the appropriate time (my favorite being the ship in the bucket of water which zooms by when Hamlet's sea trip is mentioned).

This short film is a very well choreographed ballet duet between the actors and the camera, both of which dance in and run throughout the well designed sets.

The cast and crew have created an awe-inspiring sequence shot (comparable to Orson Welles' opening to "Touch of Evil", and John Woo's hospital shot in "Hard Boiled."), which opens this film. Hamlet is a hilarious, laugh-out-loud film which is well worth the trouble it might take to find this rarity.

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