17 user 4 critic

Hamlet (1964)

The highly successful 1964 Richard Burton Broadway production of "Hamlet", deliberately staged in the style of a "dress rehearsal", but performed in front of a live audience.


William Shakespeare (play)

On Disc

at Amazon




Credited cast:
Richard Burton ... Hamlet
Hume Cronyn ... Polonius
Alfred Drake ... Claudius
Eileen Herlie ... Gertrude
William Redfield ... Guildenstern
George Rose ... First Gravedigger
George Voskovec ... Player King
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hugh Alexander Hugh Alexander ... Cornelius / Second Gravedigger / English Ambassador
Philip Coolidge ... Voltimand
Kit Culkin ... Player Queen (as Christopher Culkin)
John Cullum ... Laertes
Michael Ebert Michael Ebert ... Francisco / Fortinbras
Dillon Evans Dillon Evans ... Reynaldo / Osric / Fortinbras's Captain
Clement Fowler Clement Fowler ... Rosencrantz
Geoff Garland Geoff Garland ... Lucianus


Sir John Gielgud directed this "Electronovision" taping of the play "Hamlet" performed at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway in 1964 ("Electronovision" was a short-lived gimmick which was basically closed-circuit TV). The most unusual thing about this film is that the actors are in street clothes instead of period costumes, and the sets are minimal, to say the least. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Richard Burton in HAMLET with the entire original Broadway cast. The complete performance from the stage of the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway through the NEW MIRACLE PROCESS ELECTRONOVISION









Release Date:

23 September 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard Burton's Hamlet See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Theatrofilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


William Redfield, who appeared as Guildernstern in the Sir John Gielgud-directed stage version of Richard Burton Hamlet (1964), published a memoir of the event, "Notes of an Actor", in 1967. He wrote that Gielgud had an encyclopedia knowledge of the play and could play any and all parts of it from memory for his cast as he directed the production, but he lacked the overall vision to bring the production together. See more »


Version of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1907) See more »

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User Reviews

Richard Burton is amazing
21 July 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

I'm notorious for my dislike of Shakespeare. I've often said the only Shakespeare I like is 10 Things I Hate About You. When I watched Richard Burton's Hamlet, everything changed.

Burton's energy level is unbelievable. He practically bounces right out of the screen to personally tell each audience member his vision. It's incredible to watch, and incredible to know he gave that same performance every night for 137 nights on Broadway, a record. This taping of a live performance was stylistically filmed as a "rehearsal", so the sets are minimalistic, and everyone is wearing street clothes. Normally, I don't like when period pieces are modernized, but in this case, Richard Burton could have been wearing a clown costume and I still would have loved it.

Richard Burton is the first and only person in the world to make me understand Shakespearian language. I don't know how he does it. He embodies the meaning behind the confusing words and opens a whole new world for the audience. It's incredible.

If you like Shakespeare, watch it. If you like Richard Burton, watch it. And if you like the Hamlet story, regardless of how many other versions you've seen and which one you think is your favorite, watch it. It will become your new favorite. Frankly, it's the best.

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