Hamlet


3h 58m 1996

Brief Synopsis

The tragic prince tries to prove that his uncle killed his father.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1996
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
3h 58m

Synopsis

Murder and violence, revenge and intrigue, sex and desire, paranoia and madness -- the heady brew of passion and emotion that makes up Shakespeare's great tragedy has intoxicated audiences of all ages. The story of the Prince of Denmark, who seeks revenge for his father's murder at the hands of his perfidious uncle, delves into fundamental issues about humanity and the nature of being.

Crew

Suzie Adams

Makeup Artist

Brian Aldridge

Propman

Chris Allies

Titles

Matthew Allwork

Special Thanks To

Maurice Andrews

Other

David Appleby

Grip

Lawrence Ashmore

Music

Simon Atherton

Other

Geoff Ball

Carpenter

Helen Ball

Visual Effects

David Barron

Producer

John Bateman

Adr

Jens Baylis

Assistant Editor

Carrie Bayliss

Assistant Costume Designer

Ashley Bell

Plasterer

Derek Bell

Visual Effects

Ernie Bell

Other

John Bell

Original Music

Otis A Bell

Other

Robert Binnall

Other

Sean Bird

Other

Brian Bishop

Scenic Artist

Doug Bishop

Scenic Artist

John Blakeley

Art Department

Craig Bloor

Other

Celia Bobak

Production

Laura Borselli

Makeup Artist

Tony Boxall

Other

Edward Bradley

Other

Kenneth Branagh

Screenplay

Simon Broad

Special Thanks To

Anthony Brookman

Wardrobe

Robbie Broughton

Assistant Editor

Claire Browning-young

Accounting Assistant

Dave Bruyea

Driver

Keith Bryant

Film Lab

James Buckley

Other

Paul Budd

Other

Colin Burgess

Propman

John Burn

Carpenter

Ben Burt

Other

Mike Burton

Negative Cutting

Alexandra Byrne

Costume Designer

Robert Byron

Other

Ray Campbell

Other

David Carrigan

Assistant Director

Denis Carrigan

Special Thanks To

Julian Carter

Advisor

George Chambers

Production

Mick Chubbock

Other

Neil Clark

Other

Terry Coates

Driver

Adam Cockerton

Stunt Man

Michael Cohen

Production

Brian Cooper

Other

Christopher Corke

Carpenter

Steven Corke

Carpenter

Jimmy Court

Electrician

George Coussins

Carpenter

Brenda Coxon

Production Accountant

Rod Craig

Special Thanks To

Ray Craigs

Grader

Simon Crane

Stunt Coordinator

Tony Cridlin

Grip

Ambrogio Crotth

Other

Bob Crowdy

Special Thanks To

Desmond Crowe

Art Director

Darcey Crownshaw

Digital Effects Supervisor

Hugh Cruttwell

Consultant

Steve Cullane

Special Effects

Jason Curtis

Other

Tracey Curtis

Visual Effects

Matthew D'angibau

Production Assistant

Brian Dale

Special Thanks To

Nick Daubeny

Location Manager

Tonia Davall

Music

Michael Dawson

Special Effects

Adrian De Wet

Other

Sarah Dean

Accounting Assistant

Tom Debenham

Rerecording

Carole Dejong

Art Department

Richard Denyer

Carpenter

Sara Desmond

Assistant Director

Adrian Dewet

Other

Placido Domingo

Song Performer

Don Dosset

Assistant Art Director

Jessie Doyle

Other

Patrick Doyle

Music Producer

Patrick Doyle

Music

Kevin Draycott

Special Effects

Paul Duffie

Special Thanks To

Keith Dyett

Carpenter

Polly Earnshaw

Makeup Assistant

Tina Earnshaw

Makeup

Stephen Eels

Carpenter

Manex Efrem

Effects Assistant

Louis Elman

Adr Voice Casting

Philip Everett

Special Thanks To

Ronald Fallen

Other

Daniel Farrell

Associate Editor

Neil Farrell

Editor

Joe Felix

Grip

Doug Ferris

Matte Painter

Terry Flowers

Special Effects

Phil Foley

Props

Matthew Frost

Camera Trainee

Stephen Fry

Special Thanks To

Lesley Gardham

Special Thanks To

Patrick Garner

Special Thanks To

Darren Gatrell

Electrician

James Gemmill

Scenic Artist

Ben Georgiades

Music

Kay Georgiou

Hairdresser

Roger Gibbon

Visual Effects

George Giles

Other

Betty Glasow

Hairdresser

Peter Glossop

Sound Mixer

Tom Glossop

Sound

Chris Goddard

Special Thanks To

Dan Grace

Wardrobe Assistant

Jose Granell

Visual Effects

John Grant

Camera

Leonard Green

Assistant Editor

Sian Grigg

Makeup Artist

Darren Grosch

Electrician

Peter Gundry

Special Thanks To

Darrell Guyon

Special Effects

Richard Hall

Consultant

Tim Hands

Adr Editor

Sallie Hard

Assistant Director

Tim Harvey

Production Designer

Alan Hausmann

Carpenter

Paul Hayes

Carpenter

Stacey Haynes

Choreographer

Nick Heather

Wardrobe Assistant

Martin Hedinger

Other

Carol Hemming

Hairdresser

Lil Heyman

Production Coordinator

John Hicks

Other

Robert Hill

Other

Bill Hinshelwood

Special Thanks To

David Holland

Video

Scott Holland

Video Assist/Playback

John Hollywood

Driver

Peter Holt

Editor

Ashley Hopkins

Special Thanks To

Stuart Hopps

Choreographer

Greg Horswill

Visual Effects

Billy Howe

Other

Michael Howell

Special Thanks To

David Hughes

Electrician

Paul Hulme

Music

Antony Hunt

Visual Effects

Danny Hunter

Property Master

Simone Ireland

Casting

Colin Ives

Negative Cutting

Russell Jackson

Researcher

Russell Jackson

Consultant

Tony Jayes

Driver

Andrew Jeffery

Camera

Arthur Jones

Carpenter

Leslie Jones

Carpenter

Paul Jones

Other

Debbie Kaye

Other

Dennis Kelly

Special Thanks To

Dr. Martin Kendall

Special Thanks To

Martin Kenzie

Camera Operator

John Killoran

Stunt Man

Paul King

Negative Cutting

Kerry Kohler

Associate Editor

Rolf Konow

Photography

Patrick Laho

Other

Richard Lawton

Special Thanks To

David Lee

Art Assistant

Peter Lee

Visual Effects

Terry Lee

Negative Cutting

Dominic Lester

Rerecording

Elizabeth Lewis

Hairdresser

Sharon Long

Wardrobe Supervisor

John Lowen

Other

Lee Lighting Ltd

Lighting

Simon Lucas

Electrician

Richard Lyon

Construction

Brian Mann

Editor

Jonathan Mann

Assistant Sound Editor

Anthony Mansey

Carpenter

Helen Mattocks

Wardrobe Assistant

Sean Mccabe

Stunt Coordinator

Gerard Mccann

Music Editor

Ian Mcfadyen

Other

Joseph Mcgurk

Carpenter

Dizzy Meehan

Electrician

Rick Mietkowski

Motion Control

Ossa Mills

Rigging Gaffer

Shaun Mills

Boom Operator

Nic Milner

Camera Operator

Michael Mooney

Wardrobe Assistant

Karl Morgan

Video

Yasha Morgenstern

Liaison

David Moroni

Gaffer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1996
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
3h 58m

Award Nominations

Best Adapted Screenplay

1997
Kenneth Branagh

Best Art Direction

1997
Tim Harvey

Best Costume Design

1997
Alexandra Byrne

Best Music Original Dramatic Score

1997
Patrick Doyle

Articles

Hamlet (1996)


Production designer Tim Harvey, an Oscar® nominee for Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996) is a constant collaborator with the wunderkind of British theater and, since the late 1980s, cinema. Harvey also contributed his striking designs to Branagh's films Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Peter's Friends (1992), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Frankenstein (1994), Hamlet (1996) and Love's Labour's Lost (2000). For Hamlet , the first film shot in 70mm since Far and Away (1992), adapter-director-star Branagh moved the action of Shakespeare's 1602 tragedy to a 19th-century setting.

Critic Kim Williamson wrote in Box Office magazine that Harvey 'makes superb thematic use of both the icy exteriors shot at Oxfordshire's Blenheim Palace (standing in for Elsinore) and the mirror-laden, secret-revealing interiors filmed at Shepperton [Studios in London].' In The Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert wrote, 'The movie's very sets emphasize the role of the throne as the center of the kingdom. The sets put much of the action onstage (members of the court are constantly observing) and allows for intrigue (some of the mirrors are two-way, and lead to concealed chambers and corridors).'

In its full length of 238 minutes, Branagh's Hamlet became the second-longest major Hollywood production, clocking in a mere minute shorter than Cleopatra (1963). In spite of the highly praised performances, especially by Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi and Branagh himself in the title role, Hamlet's only other Oscar® nomination was for Branagh's adapted screenplay. That nomination was a source of controversy, since this was the first of the more than 20 film versions of Hamlet to use Shakespeare's full text ' leaving little need for adaptation. In addition to an all-star cast in principal roles, Branagh peppers his film with guest appearances from the likes of John Gielgud, Judi Dench, Richard Attenborough, Gerard Depardieu, Jack Lemmon and Billy Crystal.

Producer: David Barron
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay: Kenneth Branagh, from William Shakespeare play
Production Design: Tim Harvey
Cinematography: Alex Thomson
Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne
Editing: Neil Farrell
Original Music: Patrick Doyle
Cast: Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet), Julie Christie (Gertrude), Kate Winslet (Ophelia), Derek Jacobi (Claudius), Brian Blessed (Ghost), Richard Briers (Polonius), Nicholas Farrell (Horatio), Rosemary Harris (Player Queen), Charlton Heston (Player King), Michael Maloney (Laertes), John Mills (Old Norway).
C-238m.

by Roger Fristoe
Hamlet (1996)

Hamlet (1996)

Production designer Tim Harvey, an Oscar® nominee for Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996) is a constant collaborator with the wunderkind of British theater and, since the late 1980s, cinema. Harvey also contributed his striking designs to Branagh's films Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Peter's Friends (1992), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Frankenstein (1994), Hamlet (1996) and Love's Labour's Lost (2000). For Hamlet , the first film shot in 70mm since Far and Away (1992), adapter-director-star Branagh moved the action of Shakespeare's 1602 tragedy to a 19th-century setting. Critic Kim Williamson wrote in Box Office magazine that Harvey 'makes superb thematic use of both the icy exteriors shot at Oxfordshire's Blenheim Palace (standing in for Elsinore) and the mirror-laden, secret-revealing interiors filmed at Shepperton [Studios in London].' In The Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert wrote, 'The movie's very sets emphasize the role of the throne as the center of the kingdom. The sets put much of the action onstage (members of the court are constantly observing) and allows for intrigue (some of the mirrors are two-way, and lead to concealed chambers and corridors).' In its full length of 238 minutes, Branagh's Hamlet became the second-longest major Hollywood production, clocking in a mere minute shorter than Cleopatra (1963). In spite of the highly praised performances, especially by Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi and Branagh himself in the title role, Hamlet's only other Oscar® nomination was for Branagh's adapted screenplay. That nomination was a source of controversy, since this was the first of the more than 20 film versions of Hamlet to use Shakespeare's full text ' leaving little need for adaptation. In addition to an all-star cast in principal roles, Branagh peppers his film with guest appearances from the likes of John Gielgud, Judi Dench, Richard Attenborough, Gerard Depardieu, Jack Lemmon and Billy Crystal. Producer: David Barron Director: Kenneth Branagh Screenplay: Kenneth Branagh, from William Shakespeare play Production Design: Tim Harvey Cinematography: Alex Thomson Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne Editing: Neil Farrell Original Music: Patrick Doyle Cast: Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet), Julie Christie (Gertrude), Kate Winslet (Ophelia), Derek Jacobi (Claudius), Brian Blessed (Ghost), Richard Briers (Polonius), Nicholas Farrell (Horatio), Rosemary Harris (Player Queen), Charlton Heston (Player King), Michael Maloney (Laertes), John Mills (Old Norway). C-238m. by Roger Fristoe

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)


He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97.

Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor.

He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931.

On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance.

By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960).

The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966).

By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987).

Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)

He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97. Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor. He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931. On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance. By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960). The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966). By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987). Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 25, 1996

Expanded Release in United States January 24, 1997

Expanded Release in United States February 14, 1997

Expanded Release in United States February 28, 1997

Released in United States on Video July 22, 1997

Released in United States December 1997

Released in United States June 1998

Shown at Cairo International Film Festival (Closing Night) December 1-14, 1997.

Shown at International Film Festival of Festivals in St. Petersburg, Russia June 23-29, 1998.

Began shooting January 25, 1996.

Completed shooting April 13, 1996.

This version will feature the complete text of Shakespeare's play and is expected to run approximately four hours.

Five versions of the play have been done for television, including two "Hallmark Hall of Fame" specials (1953 and 1970); a 1982 special; a 1990 version of the Kevin Kline-directed play; and a 1993 animated HBO short.

Previous versions include five silents (France/1900, Denmark/1910, Italy/1910, United Kingdom/1913, Germany/1920) and a number of others directed by Franz Peter Wirth (Germany/1962), John Gielgud (USA/1964) which stars Richard Burton, Gregori Kozintsev (Soviet Union/1964), Tony Richardson (United Kingdom/1969), Celestino Coronado (United Kingdom/1976), "Hamlet Goes Business" directed by Aki Kaurismaki (Finland/1987), and Franco Zeffirelli (USA/France/Spain/1990) which stars Mel Gibson.

Released in United States Winter December 25, 1996

Expanded Release in United States January 24, 1997

Expanded Release in United States February 14, 1997

Expanded Release in United States February 28, 1997

Released in United States on Video July 22, 1997

Released in United States December 1997 (Shown at Cairo International Film Festival (Closing Night) December 1-14, 1997.)

Released in United States June 1998 (Shown at International Film Festival of Festivals in St. Petersburg, Russia June 23-29, 1998.)