British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Hamlet

Synopsis
Television production of the play, adapted by John Barton. A romantic conception, lavishly designed in the Regency period. Interpreted with clarity but with no great insights. Richard Chamberlain is Hamlet.
Series
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Language
English
Country
Great Britain; United States
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
17 Nov 1970 at 21:00 (Channel: NBC)
Duration
115 mins

Credits

Director
Peter Wood
Producer
George LeMaire
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
John Addison
Art Direction
Peter Roden
Adaptor for Television
John Barton
Cast
Richard ChamberlainHamlet
Richard JohnsonClaudius
Margaret LeightonGertrude
Michael RedgravePolonius
Ciaran MaddenOphelia
Alan AdamsPlayer
Alan BennettOsric
David BelcherPlayer
Desmond MacNamaraGuildenstern
Donald BarclayPlayer
Donald Layne-SmithPriest
Godfrey JamesMarcellus
Helen BournePlayer
James LaurensonRosencrantz
John GielgudGhost
Martin ShawHoratio
Nicholas JonesLaertes
Nigel StockPlayer (1)
Norman RossingtonGravedigger (1)
Philip BrackBarnardo
Robert ColebyFortinbras
Robert OatesFrancisco

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Historical period
19th Century
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

General
Filmed over six months with much location shooting in England. Hamlet’s castle is Raby Castle in Durham. Chamberlain decided to make the film after a successful performance as Hamlet with Birmingham Rep, forming a production company with George LeMaire to do so.
History
First shown on NBC 17 November 1970; first transmitted in Great Britain on ITV 8 August 1971.
Awards
The production was nominated for thirteen Emmys and won five (for scenery, lighting, sound, costumes and Margaret Leighton for her role as Gertrude).
Reviews
Richard Chamberlain ‘Why Does an Actor Agree to do Hamlet?' New York Times (15 November 1970).

Production Company

Name

Chamberlain-LeMaire

Sponsor

Name

Hallmark Cards

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division

Web
http://catalog.loc.gov/ External site opens in new window
Phone
(20) 707-8572
Fax
(20) 707-237’1
Address
Motion Picture & Television Reading Room
James Madison Building, LM 336
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C.
20540-4690
United States

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