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Hamlet (1964)

Gamlet (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 3 May 1964 (UK)
When the king of Denmark dies suddenly, his son, crown prince Hamlet, returns home to find that his uncle Claudius has usurped the throne and married Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Then, one night, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost who commands him to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius.

Director:

Grigoriy Kozintsev

Writers:

Grigoriy Kozintsev (screenplay), Boris Pasternak (as B. Pasternak) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ... Hamlet (as I. Smoktunovskiy)
Mikhail Nazvanov ... Claudius korol (as M. Nazvanov)
Elza Radzina ... Gertrude koroleva (as E. Radzin)
Yuriy Tolubeev ... Polonius (as Yu. Tolubeyev)
Anastasiya Vertinskaya ... Ophelia (as A. Vertinskaya)
Vladimir Erenberg ... Horatio (as V. Erenberg)
Stepan Oleksenko ... Laertes (as S. Oleksenko)
Vadim Medvedev ... Guildenstern (as V. Medvedev)
Igor Dmitriev ... Rosencrantz (as I. Dmitriyev)
Aadu Krevald Aadu Krevald ... Fortinbras (as A. Krevald)
Viktor Kolpakov ... Mogilshchik (as V. Kolpakov)
Aleksandr Chekayevskiy ... Perviy akter (as A. Chekayevsky)
Rein Aren Rein Aren ... Lucianus- vtoroy akter (as R. Aren)
Yuriy Berkun Yuriy Berkun ... Tretiy akter (as Yu. Berkun)
Ants Lauter Ants Lauter ... Svyashchennik (as A. Lauter)
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Storyline

When the king of Denmark dies suddenly, his son, crown prince Hamlet, returns home to find that his uncle Claudius has usurped the throne and married Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Then, one night, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost who commands him to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Winner of Special Prize 1964 Venice Film Festival

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | German | French

Release Date:

3 May 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamlet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took six months to build a life-size imitation of a medieval castle for the film. The castle was built of logs and veneer, then painted and decorated to mimic the ambiance of the Shakespearian play. The main film set decoration was built in Keila-Joa village, Estonia, then part of the Soviet Union. See more »

Goofs

During the first round of fencing between Hamlet and Laertes, there is a brief shot in which they are suddenly missing their vests. This occurs two minutes before the shot where they both remove their vests, in preparation for the second round. See more »

Connections

Version of He Wanted to Become King (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nothing rotten here
27 April 2014 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

Cinematographically, this looks fantastic. That might be the most immediately striking thing about this grand Soviet adaptation of Shakespeare's play. The wide sweeping shots the castle, this cliffs, and and the story sea at this Estonian Elsinore as they are swarmed by medieval courtesans and armies is incredibly impressive. The scenes with the ghost of Old Hamlet may be some of the most simultaneously grand and spooky I have seen.

Though in some senses (such as costuming) a traditional Hamlet, this film, perhaps somewhat by virtue of being an adaptation in translation, has a outsider viewpoint that allows to to take liberties with sequence and setting while maintain a feeling of fealty. And this lends itself to the broad-scoped cinematic feel. We first see Hamlet upon his return to Denamrk, we follow him on the ship and on the way back. What changes there are only help suit the material to them medium of film.

Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy is a very good Hamlet and worth of the role. His baseline is quiet and solemn glumness (even for a Hamlet), which makes it the more impressive and disturbing when in his passion or "madness" he is furious or energetic and glib. He is complimented by a great Claudius and a fascinating performance by Anastasiya Vertinskaya as Ophelia, who makes scenes almost difficult to watch with how earnestly she plays having been driven mad.

The film is blessed to have music by the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who demonstrates a subtle and masterful hand with film scoring by writing music that doe snot intrude on the film but greatly enhances that mood and really seems to fit the windswept crags of the setting. The translation is by Boris Pasternak, who from while I can incompletely understand seems to eschew completely literalness for a more terse poetry of his own -- a debatable choice but perhaps best for the purposes of film.

In all certainly a huge achievement that can stand among the best of the many screen versions of Hamlet.


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