The play’s the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.
The play’s the thing, all right. Near as I can tell, it’s the only thing. This is a word-for-word and scene-for-scene duplication of Shakespeare’s stage masterpiece. It features a great theatrical performance by Sir Laurence Olivier along with some intense sword fighting and about 500 phrases that are a part of our everyday English lexicon without most of us knowing they came from Hamlet.
But is this Olivier-directed adaptation a good movie? A Best Picture and Best Actor worthy achievement? Honestly, no. Call me a snob if you want, but I want something more out of a film adaptation than pure copy-pasting of a stage performance. And this gives us very little else. I’d recommend this if you’ve never seen another version of Hamlet performed, but otherwise, it’s entirely Skippable.
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