Hamlet (1948)

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Hamlet (1948) Poster

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.


7.6/10
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17 August 2003 | didi-5
9
| the great moody Dane
It stands to reason that Larry Olivier's version of Hamlet is one of the best, and even if he was a little old for the role (in his forties by this time) it really is the perfect role for him.

One or two things to note - the camera angles and shots are often stunning, from above, using angles and shadows, extreme close-ups, and so on. This gives the sometimes ponderous adaptation atmosphere and the black and white photography is gorgeous. Amongst the supporting cast Jean Simmons is a childish, doting Ophelia but this works well. Not working so well are the soliloquies largely within Hamlet's head (and therefore, voiceover). This seems a little gimmicky and only really makes sense with 'To be or not to be'.

That aside, this really is Larry's show and he is brilliant. Despite a few cuts it does the original play proud and is, like Welles' Macbeth and Othello, a truly cinematic reading.

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