Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Featuring a positive hero (predictably, the 'Now might I do it pat' soliloquy of prevarication has been cut), the action unfolds between shots of lowering rocks and turbulent seas, with Hamlet pattering through a very tangible Elsinore of massive portcullises, stone walls, endless corridors and chunky oaken furniture. A little monolithic in theory, but it works magnificently because Kozintsev has thought his interpretation right through to the end with complete consistency, and gives the film a genuinely exciting epic sweep. What one remembers, though, is the superb marginal detail: the appearance of the Ghost on the battlements, vast black cloak billowing in the wind, like a Titan striding across the sea; the dying Polonius pulling down the arras to reveal row upon row of tailor's dummies in Gertrude's wardrobe; above all, the wonderfully moving conception of Ophelia as a frail blonde marionette, first seen jerked into motion by the tinkling music of a cembalo at her dancing lesson, and gradually becoming the helpless plaything of court politics. There's a genuine cinematic imagination at work here.

By: TM


Release details

150 mins

Cast and crew

Grigori Kozintsev
Grigori Kozintsev
Innokenti Smoktunovsky
Mikhail Nazvanov
Elza Radzin-Szolkonis
Yuri Tolubeyev
Anastasia Virtinskaya
V Erenberg
S Oleksenko
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