Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
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All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
Julius Caesar
King John
King Lear
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Macbeth
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Othello
Pericles
Richard II
Richard III
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeareana

Available versions

1948: Laurence Olivier

1964: Philip Saville

1964: Bill Colleran, John Gielgud

1964: Grigori Kozintsev

1969: Tony Richardson

1976: Celestino Coronada

1980: Rodney Bennett

1990: Kevin Kline

1990: Franco Zeffirelli

1996: Kenneth Branagh

2000: Michael Almereyda

2000: Campbell Scott, Eric Simonson

2002: Peter Brook

2003: Michael Mundell

2007: Alexander Fodor

2009: Simon Bowler

2009: Gregory Doran

2011: Bruce Ramsay

2014: Adam Hall

2015: Sarah Frankcom, Margaret Williams

2015: Dick Douglass, Obie Dean

2016: Jennifer Nicole Stang

2016: Simon Godwin


Adaptations

1992: Natalya Orlova, Dave Edwards (animated)

2004: Hamlet (opera, Ambroise Thomas)


Production drama

2003: Slings and Arrows (Season 1)


Educational

1990: Discovering Hamlet

2010: This is Hamlet

2013: Shakespeare Uncovered (Season 1, Ep. 6)


Related

1990: Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead

2008: Hamlet 2

2014: Hamlet A.D.D.


Hamlet
1964: Philip Saville

This one was, until very recently, rather hard to get hold of, but it has been released on DVD as Hamlet at Elsinore. It features Christopher Plummer, probably most widely known to popular cinema audiences for one of the roles he least liked — Capt. von Trapp in The Sound of Music. It has the curious distinction (as the re-release title implies) of having been filmed at Elsinore itself — the actual location where the events of the play were originally supposed to have happened. It is probably irrelevant, however: Shakespeare almost certainly never saw the place himself, and there’s very little more than the castle’s name that really figures into the play itself. From the play, we know that it must have had chambers where people could sleep, probably a throne room of sorts, maybe a separate hall where there could be theatrical presentations, and a garden somewhere on the premises where old Hamlet could be killed. In that respect, it’s much like any other castle. In any case, what remains of Elsinore now is probably not much like either the place inhabited by the historical Hamlet (Amleth, if Saxo Grammaticus is trustworthy) prior to the eleventh century, or the Elsinore that would have been contemporary with Shakespeare in the seventeenth. The much-ballyhooed location is, all in all, just a gimmick.

As a gimmick, though, it’s relatively harmless, and doesn’t get in the way of a generally fine performance of the play. Plummer was then at the peak of his youthful powers, and he projects a strong, rather appealing character rather than the wishy-washy indecisiveness of Olivier’s version. Other characters are similarly compelling. The young Michael Caine (the Dark Knight movies) is here as Horatio, Roy Kinnear (known from a number of things, including a memorable performance as Planchet in the 1974-5 The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers) is the Gravedigger, and Robert Shaw (Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons only two years after this production) is a commanding presence as Claudius.

Like the Olivier version before it, this is filmed in a moody black and white. It is cut somewhat, but not overly brutally. It has virtually nothing nothing offensive for younger audiences, though there may not be enough cinematic zip to hold the attention of younger viewers who are not already engaged in the play.


Bernardo: Michael Goldie

Claudius: Robert Shaw

Fortinbras: Donald Sutherland

Gertrude: June Tobin

Gravedigger: Roy Kinnear

Guildenstern: Bill Wallis

Hamlet: Christopher Plummer

Horatio: Michael Caine

Laertes: Dyson Lovell

Lucianus: Steven Berkoff

Marcellus: Peter Prowse

Ophelia: J Maxwell Muller

Osric: Philip Locke

Player King: David Swift

Polonius: Alec Clunes

Rosencrantz: David Calderisi