- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 38 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 7, 2010
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Rolling Stone - 02/22/1996
"...[A] warmly comic tale....It's funny and touching to watch Branagh cheer these humble players..."
USA Today - 02/09/1996
"...Shot in black-and-white, the movie is trim and very neat..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/25/1996
"...Theater buffs and fans of English humor will eat up this modest helping of ham acting." -- Rating: B
Film Comment - 11/01/1995
"...Bits of roughhewn comedy heaven..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/23/1996
"...This is the kind of movie you can settle down with..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
To be or not to be? To act or not to act? The questions are the same to Joe, a struggling (read: jobless) actor whose every sinew and synapse cries out to perform and to soften the blow of not landing a part in a megabudget sci-fi movie. So in the stalwart (read: desperate) tradition of actors everywhere, Joe vows to put on a show, a special (read: even more desperate) version of the greatest play in the English tongue. Writer/director Kenneth Branagh serves up Hamlet on wry with this salute to dyed-in-the-wool and other woolly-brained thespians. Michael Maloney (Truly Madly Deeply) portrays Joe, maxing out credit cards and his wits to realize his dream. Does he succeed? Well, with Richard Briers (Branagh's Hamlet), Joan Collins ("Dynasty"), Nicholas Farrell (Chariots of Fire), "Absolutely Fabulous" alumna Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawatha and more joining Maloney, one thing's certain. The show must go on!
In Kenneth Branagh's loving tribute to actors and the theater, a London actor named Joe (Michael Maloney) finds himself in a rut. His career is going nowhere, his life seems on hold, and he's beginning to lose touch with the reasons he became an actor in the first place. Faced with the prospect of spending a miserable Christmas season alone and unemployed, Joe has a flash of inspiration: He vows to produce, direct, and star in the production of HAMLET he's long dreamed about. Assembling a ragtag cast mostly made up of actors who also couldn't find work, Joe finds himself with only a few days to mount the greatest play in the English language in an empty church. Along the way, Joe and the cast rediscover the joy in performing live theater that is often lost in the cynicism of trying to forge a career. Now they have only one question: Will they be able to find an audience'
When a struggling actor can't make it, he decides to assemble his own Shakespearean company out of other acting misfits. Their first production: Hamlet.
- Theatrical release: February 16, 1996.