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Hamlet (2010)

David Tennant , Patrick Stewart , Gregory Doran  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie, Oliver Ford Davies, Mariah Gale
  • Directors: Gregory Doran
  • Writers: William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Bethan Jones, David Horn, Denise Wood, John Wyver, Seb Grant
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010
  • Run Time: 182 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038RSJ0U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,050 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hamlet" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary by Gregory Doran, Sebastian Grant, and Chris Seager
The Making of Hamlet

Editorial Reviews

It's to director Gregory Doran's incredible credit that his staging of that most familiar of English-language plays, Shakespeare's Hamlet, should be completely reinvigorated by a modern interpretation of the tragedy as a true psychological thriller. This Hamlet, filmed in 2009, presents the inner torment of the Danish prince Hamlet as a believable, relatable controlled explosion of emotions, each more unmanageable than the last. Besides the director, the casting is also brilliant, including the Scottish actor David Tennant (Doctor Who) as Hamlet and Patrick Stewart as Hamlet's uncle Claudius and the ghost of Hamlet's father--who, Hamlet becomes convinced, was killed by Claudius. The direction is brisk, and the acting is first rate. Tennant plays a heartbreaking Hamlet, whose paranoia and weird inner reflections are given a modern spin by the lush, shiny mirrorlike surfaces in the palace, as well as by small but excellent details, like a closed-circuit camera system. And Stewart is menacing but completely collected as Claudius, and unnerving as his brother's ghost. Other strong performances are contributed by Penny Downie as Hamlet's mother, Gertrude; Mariah Gale as Ophelia (who's not quite up to par with the rest of the cast, until she goes mad; then boy does she ever go mad); and Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius. But it's Tennant as the mad prince who is riveting in Hamlet. His "To be or not to be, that is the question" soliloquy--perhaps the best-known speech in English theater--is delivered in a hushed, anguished, all-too-believable manner--occasionally addressing the camera, which is fixed close on Tennant's face. The DVD also includes a must-see documentary on making Hamlet, which includes great interviews with director Doran, cast members and the art directors, set designers and others who give this Hamlet a fresh, polished sheen--while keeping the ages-old tragedy of Shakespeare's words and the explosion of needless death close to the original. The impact is unforgettable; this Hamlet is a terrific achievement. --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

David Tennant and Patrick Stewart star in this critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece from Britain’s renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. No recent stage production in Britain has attracted the excitement and nearly unanimous critical praise as this Hamlet. Tennant's interpretation was recognized as defining the role fora generation, and Stewart’s complex Claudius won the Olivier award, Britain’s highest stage honor. In this specially-shot screen version, filmed on location rather than in the theater, Tennant and Stewart reprise their roles. Dynamic, exciting and contemporary, it breathes newlife into Shakespeare's greatest play.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Tis well. I'll have thee speak out the rest, too February 21, 2010
"Hamlet" doesn't need any introduction -- the tortured Dane, the ghost, meditations on suicide and a climax full of death. But while many adaptations of Shakespeare's classic play feel stuffy and distant, this "Hamlet" has it all -- sleek elegant sets, powerful acting, and clever modern twists on the age-old stuff. And the best part is the brilliant performances by David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.

Prince Hamlet of Denmark (Tennant) is understandably upset when, only a short time after his father's death, his mother Gertrude (Penny Downie) marries his uncle Claudius (Stewart). But when Hamlet encounters the tormented ghost of his father (Stewart again), he learns that his dad was murdered by his uncle -- but he's plagued by indecision, since he's unsure if the spirit was truly his dad.

Hamlet's behavior becomes more bizarre and erratic -- he dumps his girlfriend Ophelia (Mariah Gale), arranges a play that mimics real life a little too closely, and generally acts like a loon (yodeling with a fake crown?). But when an argument with his mother ends in tragedy, Hamlet's fate is sealed as Claudius begins plotting to get rid of him too...

"Hamlet" is one of those plays that only really comes out two ways -- either you have a passionate, intense tragedy full of very human characters, or you have two boring hours of some whiny guy talking to himself. Having suffered through the latter in the past, it makes me appreciate a well-done performance all the more -- and this "Hamlet" is full of energy, vitality and wit.

A lot of that comes from Tennant, who is simply brilliant as Hamlet -- loads of energy, and a weird edge to his "madness" (example: freaking out Polonius by pulling a weird face).
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet August 19, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Having studied Shakespeare my entire adult life, (my Masters Degree is from the Shakespeare Institute in England) I was thrilled that instead of mouthing along the lines of Hamlet, David Tennant breathed new life into this production. He was a revelation as was Patrick Stewart and the rest of the cast. I felt like I was hearing the play for the first time. I have been raving about this performance for weeks and am responsible for other people purchasing it. What a thrill.
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, witty, and chilling. February 27, 2010
Director Gregory Doran has firmly positioned his Hamlet in the realm of the psychological thriller, a story that starts moodily and then begins to careen towards its inevitable end. Showcasing why the Royal Shakespeare Company is considered one of the world's premier classical theater companies, the entire cast shines--especially David Tennant as Hamlet, Patrick Stewart as a quietly devious Claudius, and Oliver Ford Davies as a strangely sympathetic Polonius. Tennant's remarkably naturalistic line readings, and ability to make even the most famous soliloquies sound brand new, make the language easy to understand and immediate. This is a pacey, unfussy, modern-dress version that will draw in younger viewers and would be perfect for use in the classroom. Even in the US, where David Tennant isn't a household name as he is in Britain, his portrayal of the Prince will charm viewers with his wit, charisma, and depth of feeling. The wonderful chemistry between David Tennant and Peter de Jersey (Horatio) makes their deep friendship an integral part of the unfolding tragedy. Patrick Stewart's Claudius is subtle, a consummate politician, almost never letting his mask slip to show his true nature.

A fantastic production for a modern audience, the RSC's Hamlet will go down as one of the greats.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hamlet with some spunk September 26, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Granted, this version of Hamlet isn't for all. Tenant is a much younger and petulant Hamlet than the noble Olivier or erudite Branagh.
However, I've always imagined a Hamlet more close to this production. A 24-ish heir apparent, who has lived a pampered but very structured life.
He treats the garrulous Polonius with a disdain that a more cultured man would avoid. He swings from prancing jabbering to deep sullenness in an instant; typical of adolescent moodiness and self importance. He feels affection for Ophelia, but lacks the gravity to approach her seriously.
Shakespeare tosses in a few college chums just to reinforce that frat boy image. We find that Hamlet is not only just a frat boy, but a prince who can get away with just about anything.
As for the Queen, the way Hamlet abuses her and yet is so needy of her approval and nurturing is almost universal of adolescent males who haven't yet grown up.
To view Hamlet as the confused and tortured young man, thrown into the adult world of murder and politics, really captures the tragedy Shakespeare 'might' have intended.
Patrick Steward was magnificent as the ghost king and Claudius his brother/murderer. The tension between the two is gripping.
The rest of the cast could not have been better. By the end you can feel the dismay that Horatio could have felt, having witnessed it all.
Excellent adaptation, but not for everyone.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh, daring version of Hamlet April 30, 2010
I was excited to hear that the Royal Shakespeare Company had made a film adaptation of Hamlet based on the stage production with David Tenant, since I had heard he was excellent in the title role. This film actually became my favorite version of Hamlet so far!

A huge part of the credit should go to director Gregory Doran, who sets the tone for the dark production. This Hamlet plays more like a slow thriller than any I've ever seen. It's set in modern times, which gives it a fresh take and introduces new meanings for certain characters. It also uses modern technology to it's advantage: security cameras line every wall of the castle, so you never know who may be watching Hamlet. I also loved the set design of the film, with it's dark lighting and mirrored halls and floors. It was eerie and claustrophobic, giving new meanings to Hamlet words: "Denmark's a prison". The cinematography was also fantastic: I especially loved the shots of Hamlet looking in the broken mirror after killing Polonius and the scene with Claudius confessing.

As for the cast, I have mixed feelings. I absolutely loved Penny Downie as Gertrude, she stunned me with her brash portrayal. As much as I loved Glenn Close in the role (especially her soliloquy on Ophelia's death) I thought Downie's portrayal was ultimately more tragic and real. I also thought the supporting actors who played Polonius, Ophelia and Laertes did a wonderful job. I was thrilled at first just to hear Patrick Stewart recite Shakespeare because he is such a great actor and he has a fantastic speaking voice. But I have to say he's not my favorite Claudius, only because his interpretation is a little different. His Claudius is more contained in his emotions, which also makes him seem like more of a villain in certain ways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's amazing!!!
Published 8 days ago by devin bullard
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet with David Tennant
Never really read Hamlet, and I know there have been many version, TV shows, movies, stage plays, etc. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Scooper
5.0 out of 5 stars To Watch, Perchance to LOVE!!!
Fantastic display. Best modern prodcution of Hamlet I've seen. Bravissimo, all around
Published 21 days ago by togspled
5.0 out of 5 stars ... would have thought Mr Tennant could play such a great Hamlet. ALL...
Who would have thought Mr Tennant could play such a great Hamlet. ALL the other parts were up to the challenge. I loved it!
Published 24 days ago by Beverley Powers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie!
Published 25 days ago by Amy Paetznick
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Hamlet
This filmed version of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet is outstanding. David Tennant as Hamlet displays a character who has lately "lost all his mirth" and who must... Read more
Published 1 month ago by CeeBee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Definitely the best version of Hamlet I've ever seen.
Published 1 month ago by Shawn McGhee
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet with "the Doctor" and Captain Picard
Hamlet (aka, "The Doctor") gets "visited" by his old man's ghost (aka, Jean Luc Picard) with the revelation that good old Uncle Claudius (aka, Jean Luc Picard) did the old man in! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph P. Tevington
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Best
Every 15 to 20 years a production of "Hamlet" sets a standard: Gielgud, Olivier, Burton, Jacoby, Brannagh. And Tennant. Read more
Published 1 month ago by james d. thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie.
I love David Tennant in this movie. He is one of my favorite actors because he takes a role, refines it, and makes it his own. He is great, and so is Patrick Stewart. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah
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