Richard Burton's Hamlet
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(Aug 17, 1999)
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Top Customer Reviews
How about seeing it? Granted, the film quality here is not up to the standards of a modern audience. First of all, this is a recording of an actual Broadway performance and not a true film so the lighting is bad and there aren't as many close-ups as one would expect in a movie. But the darkness and black and white filming actually give the show a moodiness appropriate to the story of Hamlet. Still, there are moments where facial expressions are difficult to make out because of distance and lighting; however, there are also moments of extreme beauty.
On the whole, whatever one might think of the filming, there are a number of good performances here. Burton is, of course, wonderful despite the fact that he leans a little more towards madness than I read into the character. Cronyn plays Polonius with an intelligence often missing in actors who see this character as an old fool. Linda Marsh makes a good attempt at Ophelia which may be the most difficult female character in the Shakespearean canon but it is not definitive. None of the characters was weak so the overall effect is wonderful.
The staging of this version is also worthy of noting. It is done on an almost bare stage with the actors in modern "street clothes." Many people dislike this kind of minimalist theatre but I enjoy it. It takes the focus away from the set and puts it on the actors, where it belongs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important and rare film record of a great actor in a great role - 5 stars for that. I purchased this DVD on amazon in 2006 for $26.99. Read morePublished on May 24, 2014 by Jonathan Shailor
I saw this when it came out in about 1964 or 5. It was wonderful and I was expecting to recieve what I originally saw. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by L. Becher
If there is a better record of Hamlet in performance, I am not aware of it. Back in the days of overstuffed Shakespeare this must have been a refreshing shock to audiences. Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by Auntie'sBoy
1.I ordered a new DVD as a gift for a friend who was extremely disappointed when it was unplayable. It was scratched and had a plastic tag attached to the play surface of the... Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by Gayle Lens
I waited a long time to see this Hamlet with Richard Burton. I was luck to hear this production on my mp3 device. When the chance came to get this dvd . I had to go for it . Read morePublished on October 24, 2012 by G. McManus
The acting and the purity of the performances (not just Burton, but all-around) are sublime and 5-star. Read morePublished on September 30, 2012 by Ronnie
Richard Burton was one of the most talented Shakespearean actors of my lifetime. So why only three stars? It's not because of Burton. Read morePublished on May 14, 2012 by Barbara Frederick
What is there to say--as a common ordinary garden variety viewer.
Criticize Shakespeare's play. Ha! Read more