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35 Reviews
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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

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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


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5.0 out of 5 stars Mel Gibson can't hold a candle to this, Jan. 5 2002
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This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
In comparing this version to the one with Mel Gibson, I can only say that Olivier's version has a classicism that Gibson lacks. I also definitely prefer that more Elizabethan style of dress used by Olivier to the Medieval and Scandinavian costumes of Gibson. This film is a class of it's own, which I think is only accentuated by the "black-and-white-ness."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film by one of the greatest actors!, Sept. 9 2000
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This review is from: Hamlet [Import] (VHS Tape)
This is, no doubt, the greatest adaptation of Hamlet! Olivier was a master in bringing Shakespeare's works to the screen and his acting is unsurpassed! Watch Henry V and Richard III to see what a genius Olivier was when it came to Shakespeare!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good rendering of Hamlet!, Aug. 14 2014
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This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
Lawrence Olivier's rendition of the imfamous Dane is quite good, I enjoyed the movie very much!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unviewable, Feb. 16 2011
This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
Unfortunately, I can't view this DVD: it's in the wrong format, even though I am almost sure I checked this before I bought it. I would suggest that every effort possible be made to signal when a DVD is viewable in North America, or elsewhere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Olivier's best, Nov. 2 2009
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This review is from: Hamlet (DVD)
I have now seen Olivier's Shakesperean roles in As You Like It, Richard III, King Lear, and Hamlet. Other than Richard III, where he played a perfectly devilish Richard, this would be my favourite Olivier role. He captures the prince's intelligence, wit, and melancholy. The other actors offer solid performances too and the directing and choice of set (a very creepy, gloomy Elsinore) are also brilliant.

The only reason I wouldn't give this play 5 stars as I do the Branaugh and Burton versions is because of the large cuts made to the text. While I certainly understand wanting to make some cuts, particularly in a play this long, some of the cuts are just too drastic. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are gone...completely. A few of Hamlet's key soliloquies, such as "Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I..." and "what a creature is man...", are also completely gone. Some of these soliloquies are key to understanding Hamlet's character. Again, I understand why directors may want to make SOME cuts. Branaugh's four hour movie may be too long for some viewers (not for a bard addict like me). Burton's version at just over 3 hours is an excellent example of a version in which cuts were made where key soliloquies and characters were not eliminated.

Still, despite that complaint, this is still an excellent production of Hamlet and I would reccommend it to anyone who appreciates superb acting.

Matt
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Hamlet
Hamlet by Laurence Olivier (DVD - 2000)
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