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Hamlet Details


At least the 22nd time William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy has been brought to the screen, Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Hamlet was the first to preserve Shakespeare's entire text, uncut and unabridged. Moving the action into the 19th century, Branagh cast himself in the title role and, as in his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, assembled an eclectic group of actors that mixed veteran Shakespearean performers (including John Mills, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, and Derek Jacobi) with Hollywood stars not known for interpreting the Bard's work (among them Robin Williams, Charlton Heston, Billy Crystal, and Jack Lemmon). However, unlike most interpretations, it's the women who really carry the show, with the two best performances delivered by Kate Winslet as Ophelia and Julie Christie as Gertrude. As usual, Hamlet finds himself torn over what to do after the death of his father and his mother's hasty remarriage. Branagh's version of Hamlet was also notable on a technical level, as it was filmed in the 70-mm format for increased visual clarity and detail. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 25, 1996


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Patrick Doyle Best Dramatic Score 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Kenneth Branagh Best Adapted Screenplay 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tim Harvey Best Art Direction-Set Decoration 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Alexandra Byrne Best Costume Design 1996 Nominee


Kenneth Branagh
as Hamlet
Richard Attenborough
as English Ambassador
Julie Christie
as Gertrude
Brian Blessed
as The Ghost
Derek Jacobi
as Claudius
Kate Winslet
as Ophelia
Richard Briers
as Polonius
Billy Crystal
as First Gravedigger
Judi Dench
as Hecuba
Gérard Depardieu
as Reynaldo
Reece Dinsdale
as Guildenstern
Nicholas Farrell
as Horatio
John Gielgud
as Priam
Rosemary Harris
as Player Queen
Charlton Heston
as Player King
Jack Lemmon
as Marcellus
John Mills
as Old Norway
Rufus Sewell
as Fortinbras
Timothy Spall
as Rosencrantz
Robin Williams
as Osric
Michael Maloney
as Laertes
Ian McElhinney
as Barnardo
Andrew Schofield
as Young Lord
David Yip
as Sailor One
Ray Fearon
as Francisco
Ravil Isyanov
as Cornelius
Angela Douglas
as Attendant to Gertrude
Don Warrington
as Valtemand
Ken Dodd
as Yorich
Jimmy Yuill
as Alexander
Sarah Lam
as Attendant to Gertrude
Rowena King
as Attendant to Gertrude/Messenger


Kenneth Branagh
David Barron
William Shakespeare
Play Author
Kenneth Branagh
Alex Thomson
Patrick Doyle
Patrick Doyle
Composer (Music Score)
Neil Farrell
Tim Harvey
Production Designer
Desmond Crowe
Art Director
Alexandra Byrne
Costume Designer
Peter Glossop
Sound/Sound Designer
Simon Moseley
First Assistant Director
Simone Ireland
Vanessa Pereira

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