Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources


All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
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
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
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

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

2016: Antoni Cimolino and Shelagh O’Brien

2018: Federay Holmes, Elle White

2018: Robert Icke, Rhodri Huw, Ilinca Radulian


1992: Natalya Orlova, Dave Edwards (animated)

2004: Hamlet (opera, Ambroise Thomas)

Production drama

2003: Slings and Arrows (Season 1)


1990: Discovering Hamlet

2010: This is Hamlet

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


1990: Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead

1994: Royal Deceit

2008: Hamlet 2

2014: Hamlet A.D.D.

2017: Ophelia (short)

2018: Ophelia

1964: Bill Colleran, John Gielgud

This version is a rare treasure converted from what is little more than a home video. The production qualities are frankly terrible; some defect (probably in the master) makes the aspect ratio go a bit uneven when one is moving from one side of the screen to the other, with the result that at one side people are uncommonly squat and stout; moving to the other side makes them grow preternaturally tall and thin.

Nevertheless, it is the only documentation of a stage performance given in New York involving some of the more talented actors of the age, and in particular Richard Burton’s steely and syrup-voiced take on Hamlet. Burton, noted for his stage performances of Shakespeare, left relatively few filmed instances behind; they’re generally quite remarkable.

I don’t personally find this nearly as riveting a theatrical experience as many another version of Hamlet, but as a document of something unique in theater history it’s impressive and valuable, and there are a lot of insights to be garnered from the production and from Burton’s expression of the role. The thinking behind the production seems to have been much akin to that behind the Elizabethan stage itself: there are almost no sets of any sort, and even costuming is kept to a minimum. It’s all about the acting, the delivery, and the language. On those terms it’s remarkable.

There is probably nothing here to object to: if the film has a flaw, it’s that there is almost nothing graphic in any dimension. At least one implication of that fact is that there are no too-graphic portrayals of anything that might be objectionable. My only caution with respect to younger audiences is that they might find this film, with its poor image quality and its unengaged camera work, to be boring. It is not exactly an inviting performance of the play, especially for the newcomer.

Bernardo: Frederick Young

Claudius: Alfred Drake

Cornelius; Second Gravedigger; English Ambassador: Hugh Alexander

First Gravedigger: George Rose

Francisco; Fortinbras: Michael Ebert

Gertrude: Eileen Herlie

Ghost (voice): John Gielgud

Guildenstern: William Redfield

Hamlet: Richard Burton

Horatio: Robert Milli

Laertes: John Cullum

Lucianus: Geoff Garland

Marcellus; Priest: Barnard Hughes

Ophelia: Linda Marsh

Player King: George Voskovec

Player Prologue: John Hetherington

Player Queen: Christopher Culkin

Polonius: Hume Cronyn

Reynaldo; Osric: Dillon Evans

Rosencrantz: Clement Fowler

Voltimand: Philip Coolidge