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Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet [DVD] [1964]

Release Date:10/31/2006
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    Special Features

    • Facets Cine-Notes collectible booklet
    • Scene selection


    Shakespeare's 17th century masterpiece about the "Melancholy Dane" was given one of its best screen treatments by Soviet director Grigori Kozintsev. Kozintsev's Elsinore was a real castle in Estonia, utilized metaphorically as the "stone prison" of the mind wherein Hamlet must confine himself in order to avenge his father's death. Hamlet himself is portrayed (by Innokenti Smoktunovsky) as the sole sensitive intellectual in a world made up of debauchers and revellers. Several of Kozintsev directorial choices seem deliberately calculated to inflame the purists: Hamlet's delivers his "To be or not to be" soliloquy with his back to the camera, allowing the audience to fill in its own interpretations. Rarely seen in the US, this Hamlet (or Gamlet, as it was known in Russia) is not always successful, but is certainly more innovative -- and lively -- than Olivier's wildly overpraised 1948 version. Director Grigori Kozintsev would follow Hamlet with an equally radical adaptation of King Lear in 1970. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Innokenty Smoktunovsky
      Innokenty Smoktunovsky - Hamlet
    • Mikhail Nazvanov
      Mikhail Nazvanov - King
    • Image coming soon
      Elza Radzina - Queen
    • Image coming soon
      Yuri Tolubeyev - Polonius
    • Vadim Medvedev
      Vadim Medvedev - Guildenstern

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.