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I don't have much commentary on this film. It's Shakespeare, done traditionally, which you either you like or you don't. A pretty good treatment. The acting and delivery was such that I found it pretty easy to follow and understand, although I have seen Hamlet more than once before.

Laurence Olivier is both director, and lead, in which roles he won both Best Picture and Best Actor. He plays melancholy and brooding very well.

Since the play is rather longer than the time allotted for a film, apparently about half the play had been excised for the screenplay; most notably, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are completely removed, leaving the film much darker and with little comedy.
Date: 2010-03-07 11:03 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] cjtremlett.livejournal.com
I was not remotely impressed with the Olivier Hamlet. I suppose it suffered from having such a big reputation. Things rarely live up to those.

I'm not sure what my favorite Hamlet is. I haven't seen a filmed one that didn't felt like it was missing something. When I was getting my MA, the school's theatre department did Hamlet in 40s era clothing, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern were lesbians. That was a fun one!
Date: 2010-03-08 02:22 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] poeticalpanther.livejournal.com
We did Hamlet about ten years ago at the Registry, in an all-woman production. It was pretty fun, but yeah, we cut it from its actual four-and-a-half-hour length to about 2.5 hours. I got to play the Ghost, the Player King, and a priest in the graveyard scene. :D
Date: 2010-03-08 05:15 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] whirling-woman.livejournal.com
I rather liked this version. I found the camera angles they chose really cool, like we were eavesdropping, very voyeuristic. I also liked the Ophelia, very fresh and innocent, a nice contrast to all the angst flying around. Creepy factor - the woman playing Hamlet's Mom was 14 younger than Olivier at the time.

One of my favourite all-time Shakespeare to film adaptions is Ian McKellan's Richart III - set pre-WW2, everything from the costuming to the music is perfect.

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