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  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead ( 1990 ) ( Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead )
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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead ( 1990 ) ( Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead )

37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003182LKK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,277 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mark Steyn on 2 April 2003
Format: DVD
Let's get one thing out of the way first: You'll appreciate this film more if you're familiar with Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two minor characters in the Shakespeare play and the film is largely a retelling of Hamlet from R&C's perspective (though that fails to do the film any sort of justice). Part of the joy of Tom Stoppards telling is watching the characters realise just how poorly they have been sketched and their attempts to discover the truth about their existance - and ultimately their final fate - is a wonder to behold.
The two leads, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth make a great pairing, with Oldman expressing a rarely seen gift for comedy - his performance here is almost reminscinent of Stan Laurel. Both cope admirably with Stoppard's dialogue, which incorporates some dizzying verbal sparring. The tennis match alone is nearly worth the price of entry.
This is a film that succeeds largely on the strength of its premise and on it's finely honed sense of wit. It's definitely a film that makes intellectual rather than emotional appeals, but I find no reason to fault it because of that. It's a unique journey that I rate most highly.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Emma Peel on 21 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
I last saw this on TV in 1994 so I decided to buy the DVD. And I'm glad I did because this film is not be overlooked!
Gary Oldman and Tim Roth make a superb comedy double-act. Oldman in particular shows a great talent for comedy acting.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bemusedly exist in a world constructed by Shakespeare, not knowing why they are here or how they got here. Throughout the film they struggle to make sense of their existence and the things that go on around them. But there is no real meaning to their being, they've merely been plonked into the world to speak a few lines in Hamlet at the appropriate times.
Oldman's playful idiot and Roth's questioning mind will keep you entertained from start to finish. You'll be sorry if you miss this!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Aj Viljoen VINE VOICE on 25 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
First the bad news: There are NO extras on this DVD. Nothing. Not even a trailer. Nothing.
Okay, now I've got that off my chest, I'll concentrate on the good stuff. There is no way you've come to this page by accident. I used to rent this movie from the video place. Repeatedly. That copy is not very good anymore, since it's the only copy they've got. Now I've got it on DVD, so someone can rent the one at the video place for a change.
I don't know how many times I've seen this. It remains as fascinating and as clever as the first time I saw it. It stays the same masterpiece it was when it was released the first time.
But if you've come to this page by accident, this is the best movie ever made. Funniest, cleverest, most unpredictable, most intriguing. It is well acted, well written, totally immersive. Pure genius. If you're not convinced, rent it. You will want to see it again and again. Even more so than "The Usual Suspects".
If you buy only one movie on DVD, this should be it. It gets five stars, even without any extras on the disk.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Cavuoti on 10 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
Shakespeare fun? You bet it is. Tom Stoppard is here at his best. Sly, witty, full of double entendres, he built an engrossing story from two minor characters in Shakespeare's best play. Tim Roth & Gary Oldman carry the heavy & at times ackward burden of the entire story to its & their own,ultimate fates. The bantering between the two, as they ponder the meaning of life, is a verbal tennis match, here actually & ingeniously portrayed. Both show a comic timing & ability not often seen from these fine actors. Tim Roth is wonderful as the rather deeper Rosencrantz, or is he Guildenstern? The two themselves cannot decide in the play's running joke. Gary Oldman, while being the comic foil & less bright of the two still manages to discover the laws of probabilty, mass, gravity, flight, continuous motion, & steam & wind power but is never able to replicate it when Rosencrantz/Guildenstern watches. If there is a weak link, it is Richard Dreyfus who overacts & whose British accent comes, & distractingly, mostly goes. If you know Hamlet it will make it more fun. If you do not, it will make you want to see it. I would love to see Iain Glen's (Hamlet here)version as the bits you see, are very moving. Like Hamlet, this is well worth seeing again & again.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "pritch2001" on 16 May 2003
Format: DVD
Written by Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is simply one of the most ingenious, intelligent and enjoyable films ever made.
Centred on the two characters in the title (bizarrely enough), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are minor characters from Hamlet who, in the orginal play, are summoned as old friends of Hamlet to cheer up the Prince after the murder of his father. In the original play the two share about half a dozen lines before eventually sent to England where they wind up dead.
Stoppard's story however covers everything that happens to the pair outside their involvement in Hamlet's story. From their summoning, to their run ins with the players from Hamlet, to their ultimate demise. All through the story the two have no idea what they're supposed to be doing, where they're going and, indeed, which one of them is Rosencrantz and which Guildenstern. However, good naturedly, they go with the flow, happy to assume it'll all become clear in the end.
The entire story is peppered with amusing takes on philosophy, sly nods to scientific discoveries, brilliant dialogue and excellent performances from all involved.
Gentle, surreal and compelling. Stoppard was called in to write Shakespeare in Love, such is his expertise in the area, but this film is far superior.
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