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Hamlet Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Although criticized by Shakespeare devotees upon its release because of director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier's decision to excise large portions of the text, his cinematic version of Hamlet is widely considered the best out of several dozens (and counting). Hamlet (Olivier) is a medieval Danish prince who's still melancholy over the sudden death of his father and the quick, subsequent remarriage of his mother, Queen Gertrude (Eileen Herlie) to his uncle, Claudius (Basil Sydney). Informed by the ghost of his father that Claudius murdered him, Hamlet schemes to take revenge. Unsure how best to proceed, his delays and the horrible secret burdening him eventually lead to the violent snuffing out of several lives in both his family and that of courtier Polonius (Felix Aylmer), whose daughter Ophelia (Jean Simmons) is in love with Hamlet. Greatly influenced by the inventive camera work in Jean Simmons (1941) and by modern, psychological reinterpretations of Shakespeare's play, Olivier's masterpiece was the winner of four Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Actor (Olivier), Best Black and White Art Direction/Set Direction and Best Black and White Costume Design. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:September 28, 1948

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Roger Furse Best Black and White Costume Design 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Roger Furse Best Black and White Art Direction 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Walton Best Drama or Comedy Score 1948 Nominee
Venice International Film Festival Jean Simmons International Prize for Best Actress 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Simmons Best Supporting Actress 1948 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Laurence Olivier Best Film - Any Source 1948 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Laurence Olivier Best Actor 1948 Winner
Venice International Film Festival Laurence Olivier International Grand Prize for Best Film 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Laurence Olivier Best Actor 1948 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Laurence Olivier Best Actor 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Laurence Olivier Best Director 1948 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Carmen Dillon Best Black and White Art Direction 1948 Winner

Cast

Laurence Olivier
as Hamlet
Eileen Herlie
as Gertrude
Basil Sydney
as Claudius
Jean Simmons
as Ophelia
Norman Wooland
as Horatio
Felix Aylmer
as Polonius
Niall MacGinnis
as Sea Captain
Terence Morgan
as Laertes
Peter Cushing
as Osric
Esmond Knight
as Bernardo
Stanley Holloway
as Gravedigger
Tony Tarver
as Player Queen
Russell Thorndike
as Priest
Patrick Troughton
as Player King
Harcourt Williams
as First Player
Anthony Bushell
Christopher Lee
Patrick Macnee
John Gielgud
as The Ghost
Anthony Quayle
as Marcellus
John Gielgud
as The Ghost

Crew

Laurence Olivier
Director
Laurence Olivier
Producer
Laurence Olivier
Screenwriter
William Shakespeare
Play Author
Alan Dent
Screenwriter
Desmond Dickinson
Cinematographer
Muir Mathieson
Musical Direction/Supervision
William Walton
Composer (Music Score)
Roger Furse
Production Designer
Carmen Dillon
Art Director
Roger Furse
Costume Designer
Elizabeth Hennings
Costume Designer
Jack Whitehead
Special Effects
Paul Sheriff
Special Effects
Henry Harris
Special Effects
Tony Sforzini
Makeup
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