Hamlet

1948

Drama

94
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 15,124

Synopsis


Downloaded times
December 12, 2020

Cast

Christopher Lee as Fu Manchu
Jean Simmons as Ophelia, and Daughter
Laurence Olivier as Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.38 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
154 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.56 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
154 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10 / 10

That Legendary Melancholy Dane

With this film, Sir Laurence Olivier set the standard as to how Shakespeare should be done on screen. His direction of his handpicked cast was flawless and his own straightforward interpretation of Hamlet is the one everyone else's is measured by. It was a straightforward interpretation because Shakespeare himself in the introduction says that Hamlet's tragedy is one in which his problem is that he couldn't make up his mind. Olivier opts for that and doesn't try to give any deeper meaning to Hamlet's indecision. For those who've never read the play or have seen it or studied in school, Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. He's Hamlet Junior. His father Hamlet Senior was the king and the king has died. But at the beginning of the play, Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father and the father tells him he was murdered by his brother Claudius. Claudius took the title and married Hamlet's mother Gertrude. All this was done while Hamlet was away at school in Wittemberg. The ghost wants his son to revenge him, understandable enough. But the story is Hamlet deciding one thing and then another, moderating his course. His actions have everyone believing he's lost his mind. In the end it's tragedy all around. I've always thought that the key thing to remember is that Hamlet is the only one who heard the ghost. Some other palace personnel told him about some apparition making an appearance on one of the battlements of Elsinore Castle, but Hamlet's the only one who's been told the tale. Therefore he's the only one who heard the story and he can't prove anything. The device of spirits visiting Shakespearean protagonists is one the Bard used with great effect. Here, in MacBeth, in Julius Caesar, all of those visits meant someone was meeting their doom. But in Hamlet the ghost makes his appearance at the beginning of the play. Maybe if the ghost had revealed himself to Horatio, to Polonius, the Queen even, Hamlet's duty would have been clear. In the supporting cast I liked Eileen Herlie as the Queen, Jean Simmons as Ophelia, Felix Aylmer as Polonius, and most of all Terrence Morgan as Laertes. Laertes is an important character here. He's the son of the chief counselor in the court, Polonius and brother of Ophelia who has a yen for Hamlet. In the beginning of the play Laertes takes off for France. Later towards the end he finds out the tragedy Hamlet has wrought upon both his father and his sister and Laertes has no trouble making up his mind what he's going to do. Quite a contrast to Hamlet's behavior. The film is moodily photographed in black and white. Olivier wanted to use color, but J. Arthur Rank wouldn't spring for it. So he made due with black and white and the lights and shadows of Elsinore castle as shown almost make this version a kind of Shakespeare noir. I don't think subsequent versions with Nicol Williamson and Mel Gibson hold a candle to this one.

Reviewed by didi-5 10 / 10 / 10

the great moody Dane

It stands to reason that Larry Olivier's version of Hamlet is one of the best, and even if he was a little old for the role (in his forties by this time) it really is the perfect role for him. One or two things to note - the camera angles and shots are often stunning, from above, using angles and shadows, extreme close-ups, and so on. This gives the sometimes ponderous adaptation atmosphere and the black and white photography is gorgeous. Amongst the supporting cast Jean Simmons is a childish, doting Ophelia but this works well. Not working so well are the soliloquies largely within Hamlet's head (and therefore, voiceover). This seems a little gimmicky and only really makes sense with 'To be or not to be'. That aside, this really is Larry's show and he is brilliant. Despite a few cuts it does the original play proud and is, like Welles' Macbeth and Othello, a truly cinematic reading.

Reviewed by o_levina 10 / 10 / 10

My favourite Hamlet, for sure!

For years I've considered the classical soviet screen-version of Hamlet directed by Kozintsev (1964) as the best adaptation of the play. I still think it's a masterpiece, however now it fills the second place in my preferences and the first one belongs to Lord Laurence Olivier. To begin with, I was astonished to find out that scenery, costumes and make-up in Kozintsev's film clearly resemble those from Olivier's version. No doubts, our producer knew and appreciated earlier English movie and deliberately copied the settings. Well, I don't blame him: he used it successfully, but the lack of originality is somehow disappointing. The scenery is really wonderful: cold, gloomy, dark, gothic, haunting and even more impressive for being black-and-white. And then… LORD LAURENCE OLIVIER IS THE BEST SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR EVER. No one else can make the 16th century Bard's text sound modern, natural, alive, expressive, exciting, clear and full of hidden before meaning. Indeed, soviet actors pronounce the text fantastically well, but in Russian: I mean in translation by talented Russian poet Pasternak. And recently I've become interested in reading and watching Shakespeare in original. And here Olivier is an unparalleled performer. He portraits his hero wonderfully. His Hamlet is dignified and noble, reserved and mistrustful, emotional and ruthless (when he knows it is justified), and deeply frustrated (for he is disappointed in everyone except the foreigner Horatio). He is willing to act and yet waits to understand what's happening better. However events take an unexpected course and lead to the final tragedy. At the beginning Hamlet is called `a man who couldn't make up his mind'. Well, I would choose other words: `a man who changed his mind too often', but it wasn't his fault – so were circumstances. And Olivier presents these changes very vividly and truthfully. He makes `To be or not to be' an unusually powerful scene showing Hamlet just a man who sees so much evil all around that he nearly commits suicide. He is stopped only by sudden understanding that death is unremediable and too frightening – natural thought for any sensible man, brave as he is. Such simple variant pleases me better than more sophisticated ones. Somebody may disagree with Olivier's conception of the character but everyone has to admit that while Larry acts he creates complete, convincing, living image of his hero (and very sympathetic, by the way). I also would like to mention Jean Simmons. She seems to be severely misjudged by most reviewers. Simmons is an excellent Ophelia – a simple, naive young girl, merely a child, affectionate, light-hearted, playful, flirting and exceptionally sensitive. An absolutely charming scene is that of Laertes' departure. Polonius makes his solemn speech and Ophelia all the time mischievously distracts attention of her brother. I like all Olivier's films for such amusing trifles. Gertrude is well chosen too, quite believable. Eileen Herlie clear shows that at the end Gertrude understands her husband's wicked game and takes the poison consciously. However, Claudius is not impressive enough, to my mind. To see a perfect thrilling Shakespearean villain you have to watch Kozintsev's film. Of course the play is noticeably cut. I confess I miss Hamlet's passionate soliloquy `Is not this monstrous that this player here…', and also Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (they are important, for Hamlet faces the treachery of friends in their part). On the other hand more complete versions are rather overlong. I am not sure that Branagh's four hours movie gains anything from using the full text. This film is dynamic and worth seeing not only for the sake of Lord Laurence's outstanding performance, but because it is extraordinary interesting version of the familiar play.

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