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Showing 1-10 of 461 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 851 reviews
on October 6, 2013
In my opinion, this is the best version of Hamlet. It is the entire play; nothing is left out, as with many other film versions of Hamlet, which get cut down to make it shorter. There is also such a great cast: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, Richard Briers, Timothy Spall, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and many others.

I also love the book that came with the Blu-ray, which includes notes on making the movie, and bios of the main characters.

A fantastic retelling of Shakespeare's masterpiece. If you love Shakespeare, you'll love Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
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on October 13, 2013
Kenneth Branagh's version of "Hamlet" is gorgeously cinematic, and features some outstanding acting performances by himself, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie and others (though there are some uneven acting and even miscasting among the stellar international cast). This complete 4-hour version feels not a minute too long, and is greatly enhanced by Alex Thomson's vivid cinematography and Patrick Doyle's atmospheric score. This is a model of how Shakespeare should be adapted for the big screen. Branagh's version of "The Magic Flute" is similarly cinematic and highly recommendable.
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on July 18, 2015
I have great respect for Branagh, especially his Henry V, but my problem (including the unnecessary length--4 hours?) lies in his casting. Jack Lemon (what the hell was he doing there?); & assorted famous American actors distracted the attention. Hey! There's Robin Williams, Billy Crystal!; who else will Branagh surprise us with?

Claudius is of consummate importance. Only Christopher Plummer & Olivier got him right. Claudius should be sexy. Dereck Jacobi is not. Robert Shaw played uncle/step-father to Plummer, oozing sex appeal. No wonder Gertrude went gaga for him. As I recall, Alan Bates played the part with some animal magnetism in Olivier's production. Patrick Stewart (Mmmm) was perfect against David Tennant's Hamlet.

Bleneim Castle served for Elsinore, but I couldn't figure out what century it was (settled on the Victorian Era after a process of elimination, based on the costumes).

Branagh, of course, was flawless.
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on February 10, 2014
There aren't enough words to fill this space for accolades high enough for Branagh. This
edition is great b/c the 2nd disc has all the background for his directing and this is also
an unedited movie that's verbatim to the original Shakespeare manuscript of Hamlet. Acting is superb
and casting is very interesting. I highly recommend this disc set. Well worth the small price paid for such
stellar acting.
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on December 15, 2000
This is the definitive version of the Bard's great play. Branaugh as Hamlet is a little over the top but only fuddy-duddy scholars will tell you that Shakesphere was supposed to be subtle. The man wrote melodrama! It was magnificent, insightful melodrama, of course, but that's what it was. Willy Shakes should be performed at a higher pitch than, say, a Tom Stoppard play.
Jacobi brings a depth to Claudius lacking in most productions (the man is brilliant when playing characters by that name). Winslet is heartbreaking in this role (far better than that ship movie she was in a year later). Richard Briers is perfect as Polonious, the Prime Minister out his depth. Heston's performance reminds you that they didn't hand out Oscars for *Ben Hur* just for perfect attendance.
I will not buy this movie on VHS, however. The idea of watching this beautiful 70mm production on tape is almost sacreligious. I will just have to wait for the DVD version (Henry V is out, so get it going, Ken!). It's either that or buy a new laserdisc player just to watch the copy I already own...
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on December 30, 2015
This was a very easy to understand movie based on Shakespeare's play. Shakespeare to me is like a different language so watching this movie helped break down exactly what the characters were trying to convey. The dialogue is exactly the same as the text and nothing was left out. Helped me out a lot in my literature class!!
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on January 29, 2014
The casting is outstanding. Kenneth Branagh is superb as always. The fine performances make the characters seem true. My only objection is that many actors are too old for to represent the characters they play. In a stage production or in Shakespeare's time the audience could suspend disbelief... realism was not the object, but in a film performed on location and with such attention to detail and historical accuracy, I would prefer more age appropriate casting. But it's Hamlet! Who cares!?!
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on August 30, 2014
A truly comprehensive and delightful interpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece . Branagh is comfortable behind and in front of the camera. Most of the allstar cameos are well placed (although the Gerard Depredeiu one is just odd). The little vignettes of backstory make the length a treat and not a drudge. Excellent!
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on April 1, 2017
visually a magnificent production...sure glad i had closed captioning.
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on April 22, 2017
Great access
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