Hamlet (1948) (Criterion Collection)
Closed Capationed Starring: Jean Simmons Director: Laurence Olivier

Hamlet (1948) (Criterion Collection)
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Format:  DVD
sku:  HCX8
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Closed captioning available
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: September 19, 2000
  • Originally Released: 1948
  • Label: Criterion
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Single Side - Single Layer
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 - English
  • Interactive Features:
    • Scene Access
    • Interactive Menus

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , , , , , , , , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenwriting by
Composition by
Cinematography by
Art Direction by
Story by
Produced by

Memorable Quotes and Dialog:

"To be or not to be...that is the question."
  - Hamlet (Laurence Olivier) to himself
"And this, above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, then that thou canst be false to any man."
  - Polonius (Felix Aylmer) to Laertes (Terence Morgan)
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
  - Hamlet to Horatio (Norman Wooland)
"Alas, poor Yorick!"
  - Hamlet to Horati
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
  - Marcellus (Anthony Quayle) to Horatio

Major Awards:

Academy Awards 1948 - Best Actor: Laurence Olivier
Academy Awards 1948 - Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (b&w)
Academy Awards 1948 - Best Costume Design (b&w)
Academy Awards 1948 - Best Picture

Entertainment Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly - 08/26/1994
Rating: A
USA Today - 09/22/2000
"...Subsequent screen HAMLET outings haven't significantly improved on this version..."

Product Description:

Before Kenneth Branagh, before Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier gave the definitive portrayal of "the man who could not make up his mind." In 15th-century Denmark, young Prince Hamlet is racked by torment and indecision after seeing a vision of his deceased father. The late king's ghost informs his son Hamlet that Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, was responsible for murdering the king. When the murderer married Hamlet's mother--the king's widow--scarcely two months after his funeral, he also took the throne that was his brother's. The ghost beseeches Hamlet to avenge him--yet Hamlet procrastinates, unsure of how best to accomplish his task. In what was only his second directorial effort, Olivier uses his misty, moody set and long tracking camera shots to complement his indecisive prince tortured by the murder of his father. Olivier's version of the Shakespeare tragedy eliminates the characters of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Fortinbras.

Plot Synopsis:

Critically acclaimed and beloved by the academy, Laurence Olivier's Shakespearean masterpiece delves deep into the story of a desperate prince seeking revenge for the secret murder of his father by his uncle. Though the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern scenes were cut, the authentic setting (shot in Elsinore, Denmark) helped it earn seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Director, and four awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Olivier), Best Art Direction, and Best Costumes.


Production Notes:

  • Filmed on location in Elsinore, Denmark.
  • Estimated budget: $2 million.
  • Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons also costarred in SPARTACUS.
  • Vivien Leigh had played Ophelia onstage before, but Olivier told her she was "too old" to play her in the film.
  • A stuntman on the set lost two teeth shooting a scene in which Oiivier drops on him from 15 feet.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 51,404
  • UPC: 037429128428
  • Shipping Weight: 0.18/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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