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Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 1996 (USA)
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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Kenneth Branagh (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,533 ( 96)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Riz Abbasi Riz Abbasi ... Attendant to Claudius
Richard Attenborough ... English Ambassador
David Blair ... Attendant to Claudius
Brian Blessed ... Ghost of Hamlet's Father
Kenneth Branagh ... Hamlet
Richard Briers ... Polonius
Michael Bryant ... Priest
Peter Bygott Peter Bygott ... Attendant to Claudius
Julie Christie ... Gertrude
Billy Crystal ... First Gravedigger
Charles Daish Charles Daish ... Stage Manager
Judi Dench ... Hecuba
Gérard Depardieu ... Reynaldo
Reece Dinsdale ... Guildenstern
Ken Dodd ... Yorick
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Storyline

Hamlet, son of the king of Denmark, is summoned home for his father's funeral and his mother's wedding to his uncle. In a supernatural episode, he discovers that his uncle, whom he hates anyway, murdered his father. In an incredibly convoluted plot--the most complicated and most interesting in all literature--he manages to (impossible to put this in exact order) feign (or perhaps not to feign) madness, murder the "prime minister," love and then unlove an innocent whom he drives to madness, plot and then unplot against the uncle, direct a play within a play, successfully conspire against the lives of two well-meaning friends, and finally take his revenge on the uncle, but only at the cost of almost every life on stage, including his own and his mother's. Written by John Brosseau <brossj5683@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Hamlet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$148,321, 29 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,414,535, 13 April 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)| SDDS (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soliloquies spoken by Hamlet are almost all shot in one uninterrupted cut, except for "To be, or not to be". See more »

Goofs

When Hamlet first appears, he puts his hands behind his back twice. See more »

Quotes

Hamlet: Wither with thou lead me? Speak. I'll go no further.
Ghost: Mark me.
Hamlet: I will.
Ghost: My hour is almost come when I to sulph'rous and tormenting flames must render up myself.
Hamlet: Alas, poor ghost.
Ghost: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing to what I shall unfold.
Hamlet: Speak. I am bound to hear.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD & Blu-ray versions (released by Warner Bros.) do not have the Columbia torch lady logo featured at the beginning on the theatrical release and the version shown on cable TV as well as the ones released on VHS and LaserDisc. The film simply begins with the lighthouse Castle Rock logo. See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

In Pace
Performed by Plácido Domingo
Text researched and adapted by Russell Jackson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of Branagh's best
22 September 2004 | by espenshade55See all my reviews

Olivier, Kosentsev, Richardson, Coranado, Zefferelli, and Almerayeda have all directed Hamlet but Branagh's the only one who got it right.

This is the only film of "Hamlet" that contains the full four hours of William Shakespeare's masterpiece and gives a unique feel to the whole story.

Not many directors could pull this off without boring their audience but Branagh's skillful use of bravora film style and stunt casting allows people to see the importance of the scenes that are usually cut out.

Examples of this include Gerarde Depardue as Ranyaldo whos entire purpose in the film was to simply say "yes my lord" as Polonius asks him to spy on Leartes. This also included Billy Crystal as the grave digger, Robin Williams as Osric, Jack Lemmon as Marcellous, and Charlton Heston as the actor.

Branagh's performance of the Act 4 scene 4 soliloquy (Which again is usually cut out) is nothing short of c cinematic marvel as the camera slowly pulls back as the intensity grows. It is a scene that literally made me want to jump out of my chair and start applauding.

Branagh is the only film maker that understood the importance of every scene in this film and knew how to convey that importance to the general audience.

This is a must see for everyone who enjoy's good story telling, brilliant acting,and incredible direction. All of these part of William Shakespeares greatest triumph.


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