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At least the 22nd time William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy has been brought to the screen, Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Hamlet was the first to preserve Shakespeare's entire text, uncut and unabridged. Moving the action into the 19th century, Branagh cast himself in the title role and, as in his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, assembled an eclectic group of actors that mixed veteran Shakespearean performers (including John Mills, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, and Derek Jacobi) with Hollywood stars not known for interpreting the Bard's work (among them Robin Williams, Charlton Heston, Billy Crystal, and Jack Lemmon). However, unlike most interpretations, it's the women who really carry the show, with the two best performances delivered by Kate Winslet as Ophelia and Julie Christie as Gertrude. As usual, Hamlet finds himself torn over what to do after the death of his father and his mother's hasty remarriage. Branagh's version of Hamlet was also notable on a technical level, as it was filmed in the 70-mm format for increased visual clarity and detail.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/14/2007
UPC: 0053939268324
Original Release: 1996
Rating: PG-13
Source: Castle Rock
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 4:02:00
Sales rank: 3,393

Special Features

Introduction by Director/Star Kenneth Branagh; Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare Scholar Russell Jackson; New Digital Transfer From Original 70mm Elements; Soundtrack Remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; Featurette To Be on Camera: a History With Hamlet; 1996 Cannes Film Festival Promo; Shakespeare Movies Trailer Gallery.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Attenborough English Ambassador
Kenneth Branagh Hamlet
Brian Blessed The Ghost
Julie Christie Gertrude
Derek Jacobi Claudius
Kate Winslet Ophelia
Richard Briers Polonius
Billy Crystal First Gravedigger
Judi Dench Hecuba
Gérard Depardieu Reynaldo
Reece Dinsdale Guildenstern
Nicholas Farrell Horatio
John Gielgud Priam
Rosemary Harris Player Queen
Charlton Heston Player King
Jack Lemmon Marcellus
John Mills Old Norway
Simon Russell Beale Second Gravedigger
Rufus Sewell Fortinbras
Timothy Spall Rosencrantz
Robin Williams Osric
Ken Dodd Yorich
Ray Fearon Francisco
Michael Maloney Laertes
Ian McElhinney Barnardo
Ravil Isyanov Cornelius
Don Warrington Valtemand
Michael Bryant Priest
Andrew Schofield Young Lord
David Yip Sailor One
Jimmy Yuill Alexander
Angela Douglas Attendant to Gertrude
Sarah Lam Attendant to Gertrude
Rowena King Attendant to Gertrude/Messenger
David Blair Attendant to Claudius/Servant

Technical Credits
Kenneth Branagh Director,Screenwriter
David Barron Producer
Alexandra Byrne Costumes/Costume Designer
Desmond Crowe Art Director
Patrick Doyle Score Composer,Songwriter
Neil Farrell Editor
Peter Glossop Sound/Sound Designer
Tim Harvey Production Designer
Simone Ireland Casting
Simon Moseley Asst. Director
Vanessa Pereira Casting
Alex Thomson Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hamlet
1. Strange Eruption [4:17]
2. Implements of War [5:31]
3. Greeting Norway, Godspeed Laertes [4:27]
4. More Than Kin, Less Than Kind [4:52]
5. Solid Flesh Wicked Speed [4:37]
6. Foul Deeds Will Rise [3:23]
7. Advice Between Siblings [2:41]
8. To Thine Own Self [2:16]
9. Tender Yourself More Dearly [2:45]
10. Beckoning Figure [3:15]
11. Thy Father's Spirit [2:45]
12. By a Brother's Hand [4:06]
13. Son's Oath [2:06]
14. Time Out of Joint [4:03]
15. Arrangement With Reynaldo [3:39]
16. Mad For Ophelia's Love? [3:19]
17. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern [2:54]
18. Well-Ended Norway Business [1:39]
19. Method in His Madness [7:25]
20. What a Piece of Work [3:17]
21. Anticipating the Players [2:28]
22. Welcome, Masters [1:29]
23. First Player's Speech [4:23]
24. The Play's the Thing [4:42]
25. Ruse Involving Ophelia [3:48]
26. To Be or Not to Be [2:54]
27. Get Thee to a Nunnery [3:05]
28. Madness in Great Ones [6:36]
29. Advice to the Players [1:20]
30. Advice to Horatio [3:11]
31. Dumb Show [3:27]
32. Undying Love [1:41]
33. Knavish Piece of Work [4:46]
34. Not the Be Played Upon [3:11]
35. Very Witching Time of Night [3:19]
36. Pangs of Conscience [2:10]
37. Intruder's Death [4:50]
38. Words Like Daggers [1:49]
39. Visitation [3:24]
40. Cruel to Be Kind [2:31]
41. Aftermath of a Heavy Deed [5:40]
42. Bloody From This Time; Intermission [7:50]
Disc #2 -- Hamlet
43. Pretty Ophelia [2:22]
44. Poison of Deep Grief [6:24]
45. Bouquet of Air [5:56]
46. Letters From Abroad [5:05]
47. Plot Against Hamlet [5:38]
48. Fall into the Weeping Brook [3:49]
49. Churchyard Conversation [5:57]
50. Alas, Poor Yorick [2:40]
51. Rivals Over an Open Grave [2:44]
52. Change in Plans [5:18]
53. Osric Delivers a Challenge [4:25]
54. The Readiness is All [5:09]
55. Rules of the Game [2:31]
56. Palpable Hits, Poinsoned Wine [3:23]
57. Death to Three Schemers [2:31]
58. The Rest is Silence [6:03]
59. Fortinbras and the Ambassador [3:13]
60. A Dynasty Shattered [3:52]
61. End Credits [1:42]

Customer Reviews

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Hamlet 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is, simply put, the best Hamlet on DVD. Kenneth Branagh clearly put his heart and soul in to every aspect of this production and it shows. His performance is mesmerizing, particularly the "to be or not to be" monologue delivered entirely to his own reflection. I completely disagree that Branagh's Hamlet is insane. I think he is quite the opposite: a calculating, tomented soul who acts mad to hide is deeper motives. For a nut-job Hamlet, watch Mel Gibson's horrible version. The rest of Branagh's players are top-notch, with the exception of Robin Williams....what was he thinking! Julie Christie is perfectly cool and oblivious as Gertrude and one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of our time, Derek Jacobi is brilliant as Claudis. RSC veteran Brian Blessed lends his powerful voice and presence to the Ghost--perfect casting. Kate Winslet shines as Ophelia, making her transition from beautiful ingenue to raving madwoman truly believable. The change of setting didn't bother me in the least. Honestly, when was the last time you saw a Shakespearean play or film that was set in the appropriate time period? Even Much Ado wasn't periodically correct. Nor was Love's Labour's, nor was As You Like It. The final duel bewteen Laertes and Hamlet was brilliantly choreographed, highlighting the athleticism and skill of both actors. And, no, Hamlet couldn't have cut through the thick rope with a foil...but the epees they were using could have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
good for my collection!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Branaugh, Kate Winslet, and Julie Christie really carry this movie. Derek Jacoby is inspired as well. Some people do not like the change of time period, but personally I think it adds to the story. Lush costumes and sets and general frivolity add to the tragedy.
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Wife More than 1 year ago
I bought this to watch at the same time as studying the written play with my daughter. Kenneth Branagh's movie is the first time that the entire play has been faithfully reproduced word for word on screen. Some of the choices (Robin Williams?) are interesting to say the least and the final scene is different than how I would have staged it, but makes for great discussions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Helps with undrstanding the plot but highly recommend book reading for verification of facts
darkknightlover More than 1 year ago
I was so impressed with this "Hamlet". I saw it in my English class, and I was just blown away. Kenneth Branagh makes Hamlet appear the way he should: not mad or a villain, simply a young and tormented soul who wants to make things right but doesn't know how. This movie captured the emotions, and it was believable when the actors delivered their lines; it didn't sound like they were just reciting memorized material. If you're going to own any classic, this is one that should be in your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got tired of checking this out at the library for my son every week until his teacher was ready to discuss the play, so I bought it. He saw it over and over because he wanted to be ready to quote it on his AP literature essay. I saw it with him once and began to understand some parts especially with the subtitles. I have trouble with British accents. It's four hours, so take your time with it. I didn't care for the American actors except Billy Crystal who did a great job.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Hamlet is without doubt Kenneth Brannaugh's best work in the genre and there is no excuse for this work not to be on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was fantastic. I absolutely adore Kenneth Branagh. He makes reading Shakespeare all the more exciting. Everyone should watch Hamlet. I enjoy watching it over and over. Bravo to ALL the actors who made this movie a success!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We watched this for school and i love it Alsoit does needto be on DVD