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Hamlet [DVD]

Mel Gibson , Glenn Close , Franco Zeffirelli    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm
  • Directors: Franco Zeffirelli
  • Producers: Dyson Lovell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Dec 2005
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BX6FU0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,182 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

Franco Zeffirelli's stripped-down, two-hour version of Shakespeare's play stars Mel Gibson as a rather robust version of the ambivalent Danish prince. Gibson is much better in the part than many critics have admitted, his powers of clarity doing much to make this particular Hamlet more accessible than several other filmed versions. The supporting cast is outstanding, including Glenn Close as Gertrude, Alan Bates as Claudius, Ian Holm as Polonius, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia. Zeffirelli's vigorous direction employs a lively camera style that nicely alters the viewer's preconceptions about the way Hamlet should look. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Zeffirelli's film adaptation of Shakespeare's play starring Mel Gibson as the titular prince. Hamlet (Gibson), Prince of Denmark, is in mourning for his father, whose death is quickly followed by widow Gertrude's (Glenn Close) marriage to Hamlet's uncle, Claudius (Alan Bates), who has assumed the throne following his brother's demise. When the ghost of Hamlet's father (Paul Scofield) visits him and claims to have been foully murdered by Claudius, the young prince vows to avenge his death. However, Hamlet's self-doubt and procrastination lead to further tragedy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A PIECE OF WORK 31 Jan 2009
It was about twenty years ago that I turned on my television idly one evening to find that a showing of Hamlet had just started. I was instantly transfixed and not just because this is my favourite play of all plays, but because I was looking at my absolute idea of what a Prince Hamlet should look like. It was another two hours before I found who was in the title role, but throughout that two hours I watched the action and listened to the dialogue and monologues acted and spoken by as perfect a piece of casting as I think I have ever yet seen.

Let me say that I have seen Olivier's Hamlet and I have seen Branagh's Hamlet and that I hugely enjoyed them both. I am not greatly concerned in this notice to weigh up niceties of interpretation and direction, because there are enough subtleties and possibilities in this great play to allow full scope for the individual style of every great actor for another thousand years. The literary criticism trade, profession or industry, though it has not yet talked Hamlet to death, has been trying hard to do that, and I would not like to be, without intending it, the straw that broke that camel's back. What puts this production in a class of its own for me is simply that for me Gibson IS Hamlet whereas Olivier and Branagh are acting Hamlet, albeit superbly. The blond fringe and the smallish physique are right for a start, in my mind. Then there is the understated style, the diction quiet, the mood brooding and smouldering. That is my idea of how to do the great soliloquies, not declaiming them, and when the repressed tension is abruptly released as, say, when Hamlet runs his sword through the arras, the contrast is all the more effective and does not require histrionics. Does Olivier perhaps over-act a bit?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gibson's a great Dane ! 22 Oct 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is a Hamlet that is easy on the eyes and the mind...if you don't have the time and stamina for Branagh's 4 hour version, and would like one a little more updated than Olivier's exquisite '48 film, this is the one for you !
It's by far my favourite Hamlet on film.
Mel Gibson is excellent as Hamlet. He gives him humour and masculine vigor, and the top-notch supporting cast is superb. I especially like Alan Bates...his lusty, murderous king is fabulous...and mention should be made of Nathaniel Parker's wonderful Laertes.
David Watkin's cinematography is stunning, Ennio Morricone's score subtle and beautiful, and the production is one of Zeffirelli's best.
This is very enjoyable Shakespeare, even for those who don't normally like him...and I highly recommend this film to parents who would like to introduce their teenagers to the Bard.
Don't miss this glorious film !!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good. 16 Feb 2006
With casting Mel Gibson as lead, this film was always going to attract a type of movie goer that would probably not normally see a Shakespeare production. Hence it's no suprise that we don't have 100% theatrical authenticity here, it is perhaps (or was at the time) a suprise to see just how good Gibson's performance is. Intense and broody, it manages to convey the confusion of a mind being torn apart by fate in a way that is more convincing and watchable than Branagh's. The whole film is entertaining while still managing to bring something new to the much feasted upon Shakespearean table, just what every film adaptation of the bard's works should try to do.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, slick, but... 2 Feb 2006
By yorrick
First of all, what there is of this version of Hamlet is first class. Mel Gibson proves a warm, likeable, and surpisingly convincing lead. Helena Bonham Carter and Ian Holm live up to their billing is two of the leading actors of their respective generations. The settings are atmospheric and superb and Old Hamlet stares with eyes of infinite sadness. Best of all is the scene between Hamlet and Gertrude, as Hamlet throttles her with a pendant of the king. There are subtle undertones in this scene, directed with Zefirelli's customary flair. It is well worth seeing: in every respect it is a fascinating production. Except: this is so heavily edited that it loses so much of Shakespeare's nuances of language. Shakespeare is so much more than just plot - most of those were not his own, and Hamlet is no exception to that. If all Hamlet were was a story about a man who eventually avenged his father, it would be unremarkable. To cut so much is to give the play a rushed and sketchy appearance, as if the director is trying to provide excuses for Shakespeare's language, rather than revelling in it and presenting it as it is, almost unparalled as a dramatic artform at that particular point in history. This, I think, is a shame. Branagh's version is embarassingly bad at times, and nobody has ever fully explained to me why he chose to put it in some hinterland between its Medieval setting and a modern equivalence. However, one thing that Branagh is not afraid of: the words. All of them are there. A shame that they weren't in this version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, exciting Shakespeare 5 Dec 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This abbreviated version of Shakespeare's classic is more dense and thus more exciting and involving.
This movie woke my love of Shakespeare, watching from a young age. Mel Gibson is brilliant, and the supporting cast are of the highest calibre also.
Recommended as a gift for all A-level Eng Lit students.
You will be excited and emotionally connected to this timeless play.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
A good entertaining film of the play.
Published 6 days ago by Mr. K. R. Amatt
5.0 out of 5 stars HAMLET
I am sure this was filmed in 1990 or close to that year a long time ago. Mel Gibson was brilliant in this version of Hamlet he was so edgy and played the Shakespeare play so well. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Leila Pinky
Published 8 months ago by GUGLIELMO J
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful version
I found this version very easy to watch, Mel Gibson as Hamlet, handles the emotion of mistrust, grief and vengence very well and I found Helena Bonham Carters (Ophelia) descent... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet
This film is extremely well acted and stands up to any production of Hamlet that I have seen. The script is very well interpreted throughout.
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars hamlet
I have never studied this play before. Mel Gibson starring in it helped. Shakespearian tragedies are hard going at the best of times to study.
Published 13 months ago by nasima
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet DVD
The best production I have seen on film.
Mel Gibson is unrecognisable, and no trace of his American "rrrrr's"
He is brilliant in the part. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Briony Holyoake
5.0 out of 5 stars Mel Gibson is Hamlet.
Excellent, I'm sure will watch it over and over again. Terrific cast of actors. Great sets much better than the 'arty farty' modern interpretations.
Published 13 months ago by Jenks
5.0 out of 5 stars Mel GIbson is Hamlet!
Well acted, understandable, watchable. Having got bored with other films of Hamlet, this DVD kept me totally interested until the end. The best portrayal of Hamlet to date.
Published 14 months ago by Y. Pees
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet
This film is a great adaptation of the Shakespeare play, really bringing it to life. Mel Gibson's performance is wonderfully over-the-top, adding to the ambiguity over whether or... Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. R. Grant
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