The Unhappy Valentines Day Blogathon – Hamlet (1990)

This is the final of 3 posts dedicated to The Unhappy Valentine’s Blogathon being held over at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society

Tnx Tiffany and Rebekah for letting me take part!

“The play’s the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” – Hamlet

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Theater in 1990 and 1 Feb 2021)

Brief Synopsis – The young Prince of Denmark, seeks to avenge his father’s murder by his own uncle who then married his mother.

My Take on it – I was in 10th grade when this film came out and since we were studying Shakespeare in English Lit, the teacher took us all on a field trip to watch this in the theater.

I was quite impressed at the time because it helped give much more tone and explanation to the texts that I always struggled to understand.

Having seen Kenneth Branagh’s version a few years later, I never had the desire to watch this lesser production ever since.

The cast of this film is amazing with Mel Gibson, Alan Bates and Glen Close playing the lead roles

They are helped along by Ian Holm, Helena Bodham Carter and Paul Scofield.

The story is far too truncated here and they leave out integral parts of the story which is one of the reasons that Branagh’s version is far superior.

Gibson is a nice choice for playing this title role, because we can really see the madness of his character in the way that he portrays the character.

They play out the tragic relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia well,even if we can’t necessarily connect with them too much because they are both very distant characters.

The production is done well and we get to see some great set pieces along the way.

The film was nominated for two Oscars – For Costumes and for Art Direction, yet didn’t manage to win either of them

Things are paced quite strangely here and that also hurts things a bit too much which is a shame, because they had so much more potential here with this epic story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director Franco Zeffirelli reportedly wanted Mel Gibson for the title role after seeing his near-suicide scene in Lethal Weapon (1987). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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2 thoughts on “The Unhappy Valentines Day Blogathon – Hamlet (1990)

  1. Dear Rob,

    A third great post! Thank you so much for contributing not one but three posts to our blogathon. You added some love to our St. Valentine’s Day celebration with reviews of three interesting, different films. I never knew that Mel Gibson played Hamlet. How interesting! I wouldn’t have suggested him for the part, but I have only seen him in one movie, “The River.” Now I’m curious to watch this movie and perhaps breen it. Thank you for introducing me to this film. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan


  2. Pingback: The Unhappy Valentines Blogathon is Here! | pure entertainment preservation society

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