5.6/10
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27 user 5 critic

Royal Deceit (1994)

Prince of Jutland (original title)
An ancient Danish story of evil, power and human spirit, that subsequently inspired William Shakespeare on his tragedy - Hamlet.

Director:

Gabriel Axel

Writers:

Gabriel Axel (screenplay), Erik Kjersgaard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Fenge
Helen Mirren ... Geruth
Christian Bale ... Amled
Brian Cox ... Aethelwine
Steven Waddington ... Ribold
Kate Beckinsale ... Ethel
Tony Haygarth ... Ragnar
Freddie Jones ... Bjorn
Tom Wilkinson ... Hardvendel
Saskia Wickham Saskia Wickham ... Gunvor
Brian Glover ... Caedman
Mark Williams ... Aslak
Andy Serkis ... Torsten
Philip Rham Philip Rham ... Aelfred
Ewen Bremner ... Frovin
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Storyline

This re-telling of Hamlet goes back to the original Danish source material. The opening scenario remains the same: Hamlet's father murdered by his brother who then weds the widowed mother. Hamlet must discover his strength and leadership that will allow him to regain his rightful throne. Don't expect an ending which matches the Bard's though, this is more like a true Viking epic. Written by Victor R. Volkman <sysop@HAL9K.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Quest for Vengeance... May Cost Him Everything.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and scenes of nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | UK | Denmark | France | Germany

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

23 February 1994 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Royal Deceit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of two movies pairing Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale. See more »

Goofs

On the day Hardvendel dies, Fenge receives a significant cut wound to his upper left arm. The very next day, after Hardvendel's funeral, Fenge is seen stripped in a sauna and there is no trace of the wound whatsoever. See more »

Crazy Credits

The director would like to thank Extras for their patience and cooperation. See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Horrible script & direction saved only by classy cast
8 February 2007 | by snarf-punkSee all my reviews

I'm not quite sure how an 85 minute version of Amleth's story can seem longer than Kenneth Branaugh's five hour Hamlet, but somehow it does. Sadly, most of the time is yawningly empty except for lovely panoramics of the Danish countryside. The script is atrocious, making the rather dynamic Viking story of Amleth into some sort of whack emo coming of age story for (admittedly super hot) Christian Bale. Narration runs over the entire story (perhaps Brian Cox's turn in Adaptation was some sort of penance for being in this movie), but the scenes present are so badly shot one becomes grateful for skipping the rest via obnoxious voice-over.

So what gets this movie four stars? A fabulous cast, even if they are completely and entirely under-utilized. Brian Cox alone pretty much makes up for everything else lacking in the viewing experience. Helen Mirren's part is especially thin, but she does manage to get her top off, so core audience will be pleased. Christian Bale does well with a few moments where there actually are lines written, but his 'acting mad' schtick is tiresome, and unlike Helen, he doesn't get to show off topless (he is naked in one scene, but you see nothing... sigh). Kate Beckinsale is barely in the movie, but at least one can see the old nose, the old eyebrows, and the now missing freckles, and remember how cute as a button she used to be before she went Hollywood. Gabriel Byrne is mehh, mainly just sounding like an odd ripoff of Sean Bean. The real fun is his henchmen, a veritable cornucopia of 'where are they now' - we have Spud, Gollum, and Mr. Weasley! I can't honestly say that any of them have a part as written, but it's definitely worthwhile to see all of them so young (and in Serkis' case, thin!!!). Lastly, Batman Begins fans will be amused to see Tom Wilkinson cast as Bale's father, and remembering Wilkinson's 'they say he begged... like a dawg' line made a minute or two of this movie very nearly fun.

Movie is recommended if: you think Christian Bale is hot (100% satisfaction) you have to watch Brian Cox's filmography (78% satisfaction) you want to see Helen Mirren's golden globes (50% satisfaction) you are a Hamlet completist (60% satisfaction) you are planning a trip to Denmark (31% satisfaction)

Movie is NOT recommended if: you thought Cars was 'kinda draggy in the middle' (99% hatred) you have a Viking fetish (77% hatred) you like watching movies with a budget (65% hatred) you think Gabriel Byrne's redheaded accomplice is that guy from Dodgeball and First Knight (21% hatred) you just watched Underworld and want to see more of that Selene chick (40% hatred)


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