Hamlet ()

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Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

  • Won 4 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 8 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Sea Captain
First Player
Player King
Tony Tarver ...
Player Queen
Russell Thorndike ...
Claudius, The King
Gertrude, The Queen
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Horatio, His Friend
Polonius, Lord Chamberlain
Laertes, His Son
Ophelia, and Daughter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Patricia Davidson ...
Lady of the Court (uncredited)
King Hamlet's Ghost (uncredited)
Doreen Lawrence ...
Extra (uncredited)
Palace Guard (uncredited)
Extra (uncredited)
Extra (uncredited)
Extra (uncredited)

Directed by

Laurence Olivier

Written by

William Shakespeare ... (by)
Laurence Olivier ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

Reginald Beck ... associate producer
Anthony Bushell ... assistant producer
Laurence Olivier ... producer (uncredited)
Herbert Smith ... executive producer in charge of production (uncredited)

Music by

William Walton

Cinematography by

Desmond Dickinson ... (photographer)

Film Editing by

Helga Cranston

Editorial Department

John Pomeroy ... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Richard Sidwell ... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Peter Taylor ... assistant editor (uncredited)

Casting By

Maude Spector ... (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Carmen Dillon

Costume Design by

Elizabeth Hennings ... (uncredited)

Makeup Department

Tony Sforzini ... makeup artist
Vivienne Walker ... hairdresser
Michael Morris ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Basil Newall ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Geoffrey Rodway ... makeup supervisor (uncredited)
Ernest Westo ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

Filippo Del Giudice ... under the management of
John W. Gossage ... production manager (as John Gossage)
Phil C. Samuel ... production supervisor (as Phil.C.Samuel)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Peter Bolton ... assistant director
Frank Ernst ... third assistant director (uncredited)
Cecil F. Ford ... second assistant director (uncredited)
Alec Gibb ... second assistant director (uncredited)
Laurie Knight ... fourth assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Roger K. Furse ... designer (as Roger Furse)
Roger Ramsdell ... set dresser
William Bowden ... draughtsman (uncredited)
Clément Hurel ... poster artist (uncredited)
E. Lindegaard ... scenic artist (uncredited)
Betty Pierce ... assistant art director (uncredited)

Sound Department

Harry Miller ... sound editor
John W. Mitchell ... sound recorder
L.E. Overton ... sound recorder
Cyril Crowhurst ... sound supervisor: Denham Studios (uncredited)
Peter Davies ... sound maintenance (uncredited)
Desmond Dew ... sound recordist (uncredited)
Gus Lloyd ... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Dudley Messenger ... boom operator (uncredited)
Ken Rawkins ... sound recordist (uncredited)
C.C. Stevens ... sound supervisor (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Henry Harris ... special effects
Paul Sheriff ... special effects
Jack Whitehead ... special effects

Visual Effects by

George Blackwell ... special processes (uncredited)
Francis Carver ... special processes (uncredited)
Syd Howell ... special processes (uncredited)
James Snow ... special processes (uncredited)
Bill Warrington ... special processes (uncredited)


Jack Keely ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

James Hamilton ... chief electrician
Ray Sturgess ... camera operator
Maurice Gillett ... electrician (uncredited)
Wilfrid Newton ... still photographer (uncredited)

Casting Department

William Fleming ... crowd casting (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Barbara Gillett ... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
Elizabeth Hennings ... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)

Music Department

Muir Mathieson ... conductor
E.A. Drake ... music recordist (uncredited)
John Hollingsworth ... assistant conductor (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Elizabeth Everson ... continuity
Gladys Goldsmith ... assistant continuity (uncredited)

Additional Crew

Alan Dent ... text editor
Alexander Korda ... Eileen Herlie by arrangement with (as Sir Alexander Korda)
Dennis Loraine ... sword play
Laurence Olivier ... presenter
David Paltenghi ... mime play
J. Arthur Rank ... presenter (as A J.Arthur Rank Enterprise)
Anthony Bushell ... associate director (uncredited)
Ken Green ... press representative (uncredited)
Laurence Olivier ... voice: Ghost of Hamlet's Father (uncredited)
Myrtle Rowe ... stand-in: Eileen Herlie (uncredited)
Mollie Terraine ... Dialogue coach (uncredited)


Alexander Korda ... Eileen Herlie by arrangement with (as Sir Alexander Korda)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines The motion picture of all time...for all time! (Print ad for re-release 1954) See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Amlet (Greece)
  • Гамлет (Soviet Union, Russian title)
  • Хамлет (Bulgaria, Bulgarian title)
  • 王子復仇記 (Taiwan)
  • Άμλετ (Greece)
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  • 154 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget GBP500,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia One of the William Shakespeare purists who criticized this shorn-down version of the play was Ethel Barrymore, who complained that it wasn't as faithful as the stage version produced on Broadway in 1922, in which her brother John Barrymore played Hamlet. Ethel Barrymore was the presenter of the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards that year and was visibly shaken when she read out Sir Laurence Olivier's name as the winner. 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 »
Movie Connections Edited into Une vague nouvelle (1999). See more »
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 »
Quotes Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.
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