Hamlet (1948)

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet

I’m not going to say a lot about this film, but, as part of my mini-Shakespeare season, just wanted briefly to record that I’ve re-watched the Olivier Hamlet andenjoyed it very much – it is much better than his first Shakespearean film role in As You Like It. The fact that he was director as well as the star makes a lot of difference.

One problem in looking back at this film now is that, as it was so influential, some of the decisions which Olivier made as director have now become things we take for granted, such as pointing up the Oedipal aspects of the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude  with the scene where he remonstrates with her on a bed – Kenneth S Rothwell’s book A History of Shakespeare on Screen points out that Olivier had recently played Oedipus on stage.

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