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Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 1996 (USA)
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1:44 | Trailer

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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

Light stand visible in the mirror just before and during a soliloquy. See more »

Quotes

Hamlet: 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 take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions should have been theatrically released at the same time: a complete 242-minutes director's cut shown only in selected venues (large key cities) and a shorter, wide-release version that ran about two-and-a-half hours. After some critical backlash, Castle Rock decided to release the complete 4 hours everywhere in the US and use the shorter version for some overseas territories. See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

moderately cloying
16 March 1999 | by MrsRainbowSee all my reviews

I enjoyed this film immensely when it came out, going to it five times while it was still in theatres. A much better way to spend an evening than watching the retread scifi thriller material out at the time.

I have to admit though that after seeing it again a few times on video it doesn't have the same attraction for me that it originally did. As film, it's solid. The settings are wonderful, and I admire the desire to produce the entire play unedited.

I don't enjoy the acting as much as I first did. In the case of Branagh, that may be merely a matter of personal taste. I would prefer a less garrulous Hamlet. Obviously, since all actors of Hamlet are working from the same script, unless edited, this is dependent entirely on the manner in which they portray the character. I find Branagh's performance a bit cloying, and far too over the top in some cases.

In addition, some of the cameos are distracting. Heston and Crystal I enjoy, but Williams, and particularly Lemmon, are annoying. The others, Attenborough et al, are fine.

While I can't give Hamlet a whole-hearted recommendation, I have to say that it far surpasses the trite commercialism of all the new "greatest films of all time" which have come out over the last few years. That's a phrase being used far too often now, revealing a lack of familiarity with the great films of the past. In that sense, I admire Mr. Branagh's desire to bring great drama to the screen, and hope that he meets with continued success in the future.


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