William Shakespeare's tale of tragedy of murder and revenge in the royal halls of medieval Denmark. Claudius, brother to the King, conniving with the Queen, poisons the monarch and seizes the throne, taking the widowed Gertrude for his bride. Hamlet, son of the murdered King, mournful of his father's death and mother's hasty marriage, is confronted by the ghost of the late King who reveals the manner of his murder. Seeking revenge, Hamlet re-creates the monstrous deed in a play with the help of some travelling actors to torment the conscience of the evil Claudius. In a visit with his mother, Hamlet expresses his anger and disappointment concerning her swiftly untimed marriage. Thinking a concealed spy in his mother's chamber to be the lurking Claudius, he mistakenly kills the meddling counselor, Polonius, father of Ophelia and Laertes. Claudius, on the pretext that Hamlet will be endangered by his subjects for the murder of Polonius, sends the Prince to England.Written by
With this movie, then three time Best Actor Oscar nominee Sir Laurence Olivier became the first Best Actor nominee to be nominated for Best Director, as well as the first Best Actor nominee to direct a Best Picture nominee (and winner). He also became the first Best Actor nominee to win the the Best Actor Academy Award for the first time from his fourth nomination. See more »
A clock is heard chiming the half-hour in Westminster chimes. If chiming clocks were invented at the time of the action they wouldn't sound the Westminster chimes which date only - as the name suggests - from the installation of the Big Ben clock in 1859. See more »
So oft it chances in particular men / That through some vicious mole of nature in them, / By the o'ergrowth of some complexion / Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason, / Or by some habit grown too much; that these men - / Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, / Their virtues else - be they as pure as grace, / Shall in the general censure take corruption / From that particular fault... This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.
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Opening credits prologue: SCENE - ELSINORE See more »
Olivier is absolutely mesmerizing as the dane of Denmark. I have seen Gibson's and Branagh's versions, and Olivier is still far and away the most impressive performance. Whenever I think of Hamlet, I always think of Olivier's Hamlet. The picture as a whole is very well done, although in parts it can seem a bit chinsy. Olivier (as director) firmly establishes the mood for the picture, and the ensemble acting is terrific. Watch for a very pompous Polonius!
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