7.8/10
32,389
227 user 83 critic

Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 1996 (USA)
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,282 ( 238)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Henry V (1989)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves
Hamlet (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans revenge.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates
Othello (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irène Jacob
Romance | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An update of the classic Shakespeare story, director Kenneth Branagh shot this movie like a classic 30s musical. The film tells the story of four best friends who swear off love.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Alessandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone, Natascha McElhone
Hamlet (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie
Dead Again (1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An amnesiac and a private eye find they might have a past life connection.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia
Hamlet (TV Movie 2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The RSC puts a modern spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this filmed-for-television version of their stage production. The Prince of Denmark seeks vengeance after his father is murdered and his mother marries the murderer.

Director: Gregory Doran
Stars: David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When the brilliant, but unorthodox scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, rejects the artificial man that he has created, the Creature escapes, and later swears revenge.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Riz Abbasi ...
Attendant to Claudius
...
David Blair ...
Attendant to Claudius
...
...
...
...
Priest
Peter Bygott ...
Attendant to Claudius
...
...
Charles Daish ...
Stage Manager
...
Hecuba
...
...
Guildenstern
...
Yorick
Edit

Storyline

Hamlet, son of the king of Denmark, is summoned home for his father's funeral and his mother's wedding to his uncle. In a supernatural episode, he discovers that his uncle, whom he hates anyway, murdered his father. In an incredibly convoluted plot--the most complicated and most interesting in all literature--he manages to (impossible to put this in exact order) feign (or perhaps not to feign) madness, murder the "prime minister," love and then unlove an innocent whom he drives to madness, plot and then unplot against the uncle, direct a play within a play, successfully conspire against the lives of two well-meaning friends, and finally take his revenge on the uncle, but only at the cost of almost every life on stage, including his own and his mother's. Written by John Brosseau <brossj5683@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Hamlet  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$148,321, 29 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,414,535, 13 April 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Briers (Polonius), Michael Maloney (Laertes) and Nicholas Farrell (Horatio) all appeared in Kenneth Branagh's previous film A Midwinter's Tale (1995), which concerns an amateur production of "Hamlet". They played Joe Harper, Henry Wakefield and Tom Newman. See more »

Goofs

When Laertes is shouting at Claudius on his return it is shot from two angles. From Claudius' view Laertes' sword is pressing against his neck and he pushes on it as he speaks, but from Laertes' view his sword is not touching and he waves it slightly as he speaks. See more »

Quotes

Hamlet: Hide fox and all after!
See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

In Youth When I Did Love
(uncredited)
Written by William Shakespeare
Performed by Billy Crystal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Indulgent
2 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Branagh claims to present the only complete, uncut movie version of Hamlet, and his version is indeed much longer than anyone else's. However, it is not, as Branagh would have us believe, Hamlet as Shakespeare intended it to be. The "complete text" of Hamlet is really an amalgamation of three extant texts, and there is no evidence to suggest that these texts were ever performed together in their entirety in Shakespeare's day. While we don't know how long these plays were when originally performed--though the prologue of Romeo and Juliet mentions "the two hour's traffic of our stage"--we can be fairly certain that Shakespeare's company never indulged themselves as

Indulgence is the name of the game in Branagh's Hamlet. What else could explain the movie's excessive length, its lavish opulence, and its absurd number of torso shots? Why else would Branagh ask Gerard Depardieu, one of the greatest living French actors, to speak only five lines of text (none of them memorable)? Why else would he get Judi Dench to play a role that doesn't even appear in Shakespeare's text? Why (mis-)cast Jack Lemmon in a role that would have been played more effectively by a much younger actor? Though certainly a great actor and a fine director, Branagh's self-indulgence threatens to overwhelm this movie at every turn. Perhaps the problem stems from his desire to make the definitive version of a text so endlessly resonant that it resists any definitive version.

That said, there is much to praise in this movie. Branagh's Hamlet is aggressive, moody, brilliant, robust--more appealing than Olivier's brooding dreamer. The larger roles are all played admirably, particularly Jacobi's charismatic Claudius. Finally, there are some scenes in the film that are as great as anything Branagh has ever done. The "To be or not to be" soliloquy, set in a hall of two-way mirrors with Claudius and Polonius lying in wait behind one, approaches cinematic genius.

--Ben


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 227 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

'Star Wars' Creatures We Love

"The IMDb Show" breaks down the origins of some iconic Star Wars creatures. Plus, legendary sword choreographer Tim Weske explains the basics of lightsaber combat.

Watch now