Hamlet (1969 film)

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Directed by Tony Richardson
Produced by Hans Gottchalk
Neil Hartley
Leslie Linder
Martin Ransohoff
Written by William Shakespeare
adapted by Tony Richardson
Starring Nicol Williamson
Marianne Faithfull
Anthony Hopkins
Judy Parfitt
Music by Patrick Gowers
Edited by Charles Rees
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 1969 (1969-09)
Running time
117 minutes
Country United KIngdom
Language English
Budget $350,000[1]

Hamlet is a 1969 British film adaptation of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, starring Nicol Williamson as Prince Hamlet. It was directed by Tony Richardson and based on his own stage production at the Roundhouse theater in London. The film also stars Anthony Hopkins as King Claudius, Judy Parfitt as Queen Gertrude, Marianne Faithfull as Ophelia, Mark Dignam as Polonius, Gordon Jackson as Horatio, and Michael Pennington as Laertes.

The film, a departure from big-budget Hollywood renditions of classics, was made with a small budget and a very minimalist set, consisting of Renaissance fixtures and costumes in a dark, shadowed space. A brick tunnel is used for the scenes on the battlements. The Ghost of Hamlet's father is represented only by a light shining on the observers. The film places much emphasis on the sexual aspects of the play, to the point of strongly implying an incestuous relationship between Laertes and Ophelia.


Hamlet was released to DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on 3 July 2012 via the Choice Collection DVD-on-demand setup from Amazon.


  1. ^ Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p452

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