Customer Reviews


35 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The play's the thing.
"Hamlet belongs into the theater," says Mel Gibson, the star of the tragedy's 1990 adaptation by Franco Zeffirelli, in an interview on that movie's DVD. And while primarily expressing regret over a lacking opportunity to explore the role's complexities by nightly slipping into the prince's skin on stage, he also has a point regarding any screen adaptation's validity: the...
Published on May 4 2005 by Themis-Athena

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars TO RESTORE OR NOT TO RESTORE - THAT IS THE QUESTION!
Criterion laserdiscs used to be top of the line. Their transfers were solid and their committment to extra features very compelling. One didn't mind shelling out upwards of a hundred dollars (or perhaps did, but simply reasoned the issue internally)because what you got for your money was far above what other studios were offering at the time. However, their DVD...
Published on Oct. 25 2003 by Nix Pix


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Some wonderful performances in a Stage-Bound Version, Aug. 5 2001
By 
Ricky Hunter (New York City, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
William Shakespeares's Hamlet is a perfect little play that needs no explaining here. This is a very good film version although it, for the most part, never escapes appearing somewhat stagy on film and never uses the camera (other than in its wonderful use of hallways and doorways) to escape the confines of the stage. This version, as to some extent they all do, rests on the performance of the man in the lead. And in this, Laurence Olivier, does a superb job with only the occasional embarassing missteps. The rest of the cast is generally also of high quality with a only a couple who would be ranked as adequate (notably, Jean Simmons' Ophelia and Peter Cushing distracting as a screaming queen and not the kind with a actual crown). This version still stands up to any of the more recent filmed versions and is a fine addition to any collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet the Swashbuckler, June 19 2001
By 
Kjkehoe "engteachkehoe" (Valley Stream, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
A wonderfully Freudian interpretation of the Shakespeare tragedy (check out Gertrude's bed for example), the production wonderfully captures the psychological tension of Shakespeare's words. Yes, Olivier is a wonderful Hamlet, but is he portrayed in the way Olivier the DIRECTOR states at the opening, that being a man who could not make up his mind? Olivier's Hamlet is quite assertive and daring, a swashbuckler in the most cinematic sense (the pirate ship scene or the breakneck dive from the stairs to kill Claudius can be used as support for this idea). Unfortunately the performances surrounding Olivier are not as strong... check out Richard Burton's stage performance on DVD for a wonderful cast production. One question: why aren't they releasing Olivier's Richard III (1955)on DVD?? England seems to get the best treatment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF CLASSICS, June 24 2003
By 
Boris Zubry "Boris Zubry" (Princeton, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
A few weeks ago I felt like watching a classic movie. The movie rental store offered a wide selection of classics but I remembered Hamlet with Sir Laurence Olivier from many years ago. So, Hamlet it was.
As I stated earlier, I saw this production of Hamlet before. Also, I saw many other outstanding productions of Hamlet performed by top actors from many countries. I thought I knew Hamlet in details and did not really know why I rented it again. But, let me tell you, Sir Laurence Olivier knew and felt Hamlet better than anyone else. He did not play the role, he lived it. It was so good that I watched it twice in the same day and once more next day for the good measure.
If you have seen it, you should see it again and, if you nave not, you must see it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars how my love of film began..., July 9 2001
This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
This was the first film I was taken to see, at age 5. I loved it then, love it now. Filmed in Denmark, it's a stylish work of art. The sets and cinematography are fabulous, and it boasts a superb score by Sir William Walton.
The magnificent Olivier gives us the most poetic and melancholy Hamlet on film...the way he uses his eyes in this performance is extraordinary, and very moving. Jean Simmons is a delicate and beautiful Ophelia, I like Eileen Herlie's Gertrude, and Norman Woodland's graceful Horatio is outstanding.
Though the Zeffirelli/Gibson version is perhaps my favorite, and Branagh's ever so long uncut version stunning, this one shouldn't be missed...it's the classic of all classics...riveting even for a child of 5 !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Olivier is something of a let-down, March 30 2001
By 
john salonia (Nowhere in Particular) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
I would be the last to criticize an actor who has done so much fine work as Olivier if I didn't feel it was absolutely necessary. His direction of the cast (he left the cinematographic direction to another) is sensitive and perfectly realizes his rearranged text. However, his own performance varies between subtle, intelligent, gripping readings of the lines and the same wildly over-the-top arms-windmilling scenery-chewing that Hamlet warns the Players against presenting! Still, judged as a film, this is a masterpiece. I only wish Olivier had been as good at directing himself as he was at directing the rest of the cast. His Hamlet is, in its way, a masterpiece, but a slightly flawed one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Disappointment, Nov. 14 2001
By 
Charlotte A. Hu "USMC journalist, turned Emba... (San Antonio, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
The great Sir Laurence Olivier, lauded by film critics as a the quintessential Shakespearian thesbian, fails to give any of his inspiration to Hamlet. "This is the story of a man who could not make up his mind," the narration at the beginning of the film states. And so the rest of the film fulfills this prediction. The real anguish and pain inspired from Hamlet's father's untimely death do not manage to inspire any viewer sympathy with the troubled youth. Later versions of Hamlet, surprisingly, the Mel Gibson version, imbued Hamlet's character with much more passion and much more charisma.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Lawrence Olivier adaptation of Shakespeare, May 30 2004
By 
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
In this release Olivier's second adaptation of a Shakespeare play, Olivier again plays the title role. Unlike the previous film, this one is in black and white,
It follows the story of a Danish prince bent on avenging the murder of his father by his uncle.
I would assume that most people know the plot so that is all I will say about it,
The DVD has no special features which is not normal for a Criterion release.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars overrated, Oct. 19 2003
By 
This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
the text is butchered worse than elsewhere. And Olivier is just not the best Hamlet. The thunder during the tobeornotobe soliloquy that accomponies "ay theres the rub" and him shouting that line(?) are just plain corny and yuck. Branaghs a much better blonde and makes this film completely obsolete and useless.
I also never like seeing that soliloquy come AFTER the fight with Ophelia, as it does here. The H+Gertrude exchange is a little sexier than most, and I like it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Olivier's performance is a benchmark!, Sept. 19 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
Laurence Olivier has to be said to have been and still is the person whom has best depicted the haunted prince of Denmark otherwise known as Hamlet. He richly deserved the academy award for his performance in this movie, i.e., Hamlet VHS ~ Laurence Olivier and in a way set a benchmark for other actors to meet in order to fully be accepted as interpretors and actors of Shakespearean plays.Simply put it, his performance is Awesome. Highly Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Overplayed but still classic, Feb. 5 2004
By 
Daniel S. Russell "syzygy121" (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
This used to be the definitive "Hamlet," but I fear it has become quite dated with its painfully obvious Freudian interpretation of the characters and their motivations.
Olivier delivers a great performance, as does the supporting cast, and the production lends a fog-enshrouded creepiness to the matter, but it gets lost a bit in the heavy-handed reading of the work itself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Hamlet
Hamlet by Laurence Olivier (DVD - 2000)
CDN$ 32.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews