British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Hamlet at Elsinore

Synopsis
1964 television broadcast of the English/Danish co-production of the play which was filmed at Kronsberg Castle, Elsinore, Denmark. Christopher Plummer is Hamlet with a supporting cast that includes Michael Caine as Horatio, Donald Sutherland as Fortinbras and Lindsay Kemp as the Player Queen. Released on DVD in the USA by the BBC in October 2011.
Language
English
Country
Denmark; Great Britain
Medium
Television
Year of release
1964
Transmission details
19 Apr 1964 at 20:05 (Channel: BBC)
Duration
170 mins

Credits

Director
Philip Saville
Producer
Peter Luke
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Richard Rodney Bennett
Costume
Olive Harris
Art Direction
Poul Arnt Thomsen
Cast
Christopher PlummerHamlet
Robert ShawClaudius
June TobinGertrude
Alec ClunesPolonius
Jo Maxwell MullerOphelia
Bill WallisGuildenstern
Charles CarsonPriest
David CalderisiRosencrantz
David SwiftPlayer King
Donald SutherlandFortinbras
Dyson LovellLaertes
Joby BlanshardCaptain
Lindsay KempPlayer Queen
Michael CaineHoratio
Michael GoldieBarnardo
Peter ProwseMarcellus
Philip LockeOsric
Roy KinnearGravedigger
Steven BerkoffLucianus
William HobbsPrologue

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama; Shakespeare
Keywords
Denmark; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
First television play to be filmed entirely with outside-broadcast cameras on location in Kronsberg Castle, Elsinore, in co-operation with Danmarks Radio.

The BFI National Archive holds a complete tape record of the broadcast, plus 495ft (16mm) extracts: Hamlet meeting the Ghost and the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy (A3S1).

DVD released 2011, Region 1 only. Extras include a 90-minute conversation with Christopher Plummer recorded at the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival, where the restored video was first shown.
General
Other than a 1910 silent version, this is the only production of Hamlet (so far) to actually be filmed in Elsinore, Denmark, where most of the play takes place (imdb). The production was conceived and executed in eight weeks and four days. The shooting style emphasising close-ups oddly makes little use of the setting.
History
BBC’s major contribution to the Shakespeare quatercentenary celebrations in 1964. Broadcast in two parts with a ten-minute break for the news.
Awards
Nominated for an Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama’
(Christopher Plummer).
Textual information
Based on 1603 First Quarto.
Reviews
Kliman, Bernice W., Hamlet: Film, Television and Audio Performance (London: Associated University Presses, 1988), pp. 154-67.
Michael Brook, "Hamlet at Elsinore (1964)'", http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1164575/index.html

Online Availability

Online URL
http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1164575/index.html

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Name

Danmarks Radio

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

Paley Center for Media

Web
http://www.paleycenter.org/ External site opens in new window
Phone
(212) 621-6600
Address
25 West 52 Street
New York
New York
110019
USA
Notes
Formerly Museum of Television and Radio (MTR). The name changed in 2007.

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.com

Web
http://www.amazon.com External site opens in new window

Record Stats

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