7.6/10
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93 user 52 critic

Hamlet (1948)

Approved | | Drama | 11 June 1948 (Australia)
Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writer:

William Shakespeare (by)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Laurie ... Francisco
Esmond Knight ... Bernardo
Anthony Quayle ... Marcellus
Niall MacGinnis ... Sea Captain
Harcourt Williams ... First Player
Patrick Troughton ... Player King
Tony Tarver Tony Tarver ... Player Queen
Peter Cushing ... Osric
Stanley Holloway ... Gravedigger
Russell Thorndike Russell Thorndike ... Priest
Basil Sydney ... Claudius, The King
Eileen Herlie ... Gertrude, The Queen
Laurence Olivier ... Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Norman Wooland ... Horatio, His Friend
Felix Aylmer ... Polonius, Lord Chamberlain
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Storyline

William Shakespeare's tale of tragedy of murder and revenge in the royal halls of medieval Denmark. Claudius, brother to the King, conniving with the Queen, poisons the monarch and seizes the throne, taking the widowed Gertrude for his bride. Hamlet, son of the murdered King, mournful of his father's death and mother's hasty marriage, is confronted by the ghost of the late King who reveals the manner of his murder. Seeking revenge, Hamlet re-creates the monstrous deed in a play with the help of some travelling actors to torment the conscience of the evil Claudius. In a visit with his mother, Hamlet expresses his anger and disappointment concerning her swiftly untimed marriage. Thinking a concealed spy in his mother's chamber to be the lurking Claudius, he mistakenly kills the meddling counselor, Polonius, father of Ophelia and Laertes. Claudius, on the pretext that Hamlet will be endangered by his subjects for the murder of Polonius, sends the Prince to England. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Best Picture of the Year! Best Actor of the Year! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the death of Christopher Lee on June 7, 2015, Patrick Macnee became the last surviving cast member of the film. Macnee himself died only 18 days later. See more »

Goofs

A clock is heard chiming the half-hour in Westminster chimes. If chiming clocks were invented at the time of the action they wouldn't sound the Westminster chimes which date only - as the name suggests - from the installation of the Big Ben clock in 1859. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: So oft it chances in particular men / That through some vicious mole of nature in them, / By the o'ergrowth of some complexion / Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason, / Or by some habit grown too much; that these men - / Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, / Their virtues else - be they as pure as grace, / Shall in the general censure take corruption / From that particular fault... This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

So oft it chances in particular men That through some vicious mole of nature in them, By the o'ergrowth of some complexion Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason, Or by some habit grown too much; that these men - Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, Their virtues else - be they as pure as grace, Shall in the general censure take corruption From that particular fault. See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (1908) See more »

User Reviews

The film that set the standard for cinema Shakespeare
13 June 1999 | by Doc-57See all my reviews

This version has been topped now, but it's still not to be missed if only for nostalgic purposes. The setting, lighting, and cinematography are wondrous; the acting is superb (though by today's standards Olivier perhaps chews the scenery a bit much); the tone is somber and Gothic. And, I feel the tragedy every time I see it. I personally feel too much was cut, and I find fault with Olivier's interpretation: but then again, it's everybody's part now. Ambitious, effective, and just good theater.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1948 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamlet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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