Archive for April 20th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USSR 1964 147m) DVD0 (Russia only)

Aka. Gamlet

The film’s the thing

p  uncredited  d  Grigori Kozintsev  w  Grigori Kozintsev, Boris Pasternak  play  William Shakespeare  ph  Jonas Gritsius  ed  Yekaterina Makhankova  m  Dimitri Shostakovich  art  Yevgeni Yenej  cos  Solomon Virsaladze

Innokenti Smoktunovsky (Hamlet), Mikhail Nazvanov (Claudius), Elze Radzinya (Gertrude), Yuri Tolubeyev (Polonius), Anastasiya Bertinskaya (Ophelia), Vadim Medvedev (Guildenstern), Igor Dmitriyev (Rosencrantz), Vladimir Eerenberg (Horatio), Stepan Oleksenko (Laertes), A.Krevalid (Fortinbras),

Aside from the Bible, can there be a more quoted literary source than Hamlet?  It’s provided the titles to at least four films that come readily to mind (the sixth Star Trek film, North by Northwest, Leave Her to Heaven and Murder Most Foul).  It’s probably been filmed on more occasions than any other play, too, and has resulted in various memorable interpretations.  The superb qualities of both Olivier’s and Branagh’s vastly differing versions of the Melancholy Dane can be taken for granted and have been discussed by keener minds than mine, as well as in the essays that sandwich this.  Though not in the same league, the Zeffirelli version with Mel Gibson isn’t that bad and the Michael Almereyda 2000 updating could have been a lot worse.  Not to mention two superb versions for the small screen; with Derek Jacobi for the BBC Shakespeare in 1980 and, a generation earlier, Hamlet at Elsinore, with Christopher Plummer and Robert Shaw. (more…)

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