British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Hamlet

Synopsis
Feature film version of the play. A naturalistic and literal reading with few interpretative touches. Gibson’s Hamlet is a man of action and with the text heavily cut (over 80%) he dominates the majority of scenes.
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1990
Duration
134 mins; 12,082 feet

Credits

Director
Franco Zeffirelli
Producer
Dyson Lovell
Cinematographer
David Watkin
Screenplay
Christophe de Vore; Franco Zeffirelli
Music
Enrico Morricone
Costume
Maurizo Millenotti
Art Direction
Michael Lamont
Cast
Mel GibsonHamlet
Alan BatesClaudius
Glenn CloseGertrude
Ian HolmPolonius
Helena Bonham-CarterOphelia
Christien AnholtMarcellus
Christopher FairbankPlayer Queen
Dave DuffyFrancisco
John McEneryOsric
Michael MaloneyRosencrantz
Nathaniel ParkerLaertes
Paul ScofieldGhost
Pete PostlethwaitePlayer King
Richard WarwickBarnardo
Sean MurrayGuildenstern
Stephen DillaneHoratio
Trevor PeacockGravedigger (1)
Vernon DobtcheffReynaldo

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
Medieval
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
Mel Gibson Goes Back to School
Shakespeare - Playing the Dane

Notes

Notes
Budget $15million.
Figures
US domestic total gross $20,710,451 (Box Office Mojo 2005)
Awards
Academy Award 1991 - nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
Documentation
A free study pack is available from Film Education. The pack consists of a study guide on the film aimed at students of GCSE English Literature; study notes aimed at students of A-level English Literature; an essay on the film by Professor Frank Kermode.
Reviews
Rothwell, Kenneth C. ‘Zeffirelli’s HAMLET’ in Rothwell’s A History of Shakespeare on Screen: A Century of Film and Television. 2nd ed. (Cambridge: CUP, 2004) pp 131-5. Cartmell, Deborah ‘Franco Zeffirelli and Shakespeare’ in
Russell Jackson (ed), Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film (Cambridge: CUP, 2000), pp 212-221.

Of Zeffirelli’s film Daniel Rosenthal writes - ‘If this were your first encounter with a play often acclaimed as the greatest ever written, and you were unaware of how much had been discarded, you would probably come away wondering what all the fuss was about’. Rosenthal, Daniel. 100 Shakespeare Films (London: BFI, 2007), p. 42.

Production Company

Name

Carolco

Distributor

Name

Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment

Email
publicity@momentumpictures.co.uk
Web
http://www.momentumpictures.com External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7391 6900
Fax
020 7383 0404
Address
Second Floor
184-192 Drummond Street
London
NW1 3HP

Distributor (Sale)

Name

4 Front Video

Phone
020 7079 6000
Fax
020 7079 6524
Address
Universal Pictures Video
Prospect House
Third Floor
80-110 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1HB
Name

Retail outlets

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