British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Souls at Sea

Synopsis
Action adventure film, starring Gary Cooper, about the slave trade on the high seas in 1842. In The Great Hamlets, an educational video of interviews with famous actors and directors of Hamlet, made in 1985 and released by Films for the Humanities in 1996, the narrator, Trevor Nunn, has the following exchange with Laurence Olivier:

Nunn: The subtitle Laurence Olivier gave to his film [Hamlet] was much debated when the film was released. What had led [you] to calling it "The story of a man who could not make up his mind"?

Olivier: I’d heard it in a film with Gary Cooper, I think it was sort of an 18th-century period film, on a ship, and Gary Cooper was reading Hamlet, and someone said to him, "What are you reading?"

He said, "Well, it’s a play, called Hamlet."

"What’s it about?"

"It’s about a man who can’t make up his mind."

And I felt that has a succinctness that ought to be useful. It was too simple for my critics. They thought that was an outrageously simple explanation. But I needed something for my - as you say, talk about the millions who never dreamt of seeing Hamlet; they’re going to now. I needed every reasonably helpful sop I could to that fact."

Cooper recites from the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy in the picture.
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Sound
Year of release
1937
Duration
92 mins

Credits

Director
Henry Hathway
Producer
Adolph Zukor; Grover Jones; Henry Hatahway
Cinematographer
Charles Lang
Screenplay
Dale Van Every; Grover Jones; Richard Talmadge
Music
W. Franke Harling
Costume
Edith Head
Art Direction
Hans Dreir; Roland Anderson
Cast
Gary CooperMichael ‘Nuggin’ Taylor (Hamlet)

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
Hamlet
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Olivier, Laurence (1907-1989)

Production Company

Name

Paramount Pictures

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.co.uk

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

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