Hamlet (1969 film)

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.

Directed byTony Richardson
Produced byHans Gottchalk
Neil Hartley
Leslie Linder
Martin Ransohoff
Written byWilliam Shakespeare
adapted by Tony Richardson
StarringNicol Williamson
Marianne Faithfull
Anthony Hopkins
Judy Parfitt
Music byPatrick Gowers
Edited byCharles Rees
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 1969 (1969-09)
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited KIngdom

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. Williamson was only one year younger than Parfitt, who played his mother, and was one year older than Hopkins, who played his uncle.


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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