“ It is riveting.
“ But Olivier's rendition is still worth watching.
“ I can appreciate his supreme place in the annals of literature, and can acknowledge that just about every aspect of modern literature owes some debt to him, but I'm fairly bored silly when trying to actually watch any of his plays on screen.
“ Though brilliant, this is an exceptionally long and drawn out film, which may test your patience.
“ The manifestations of the ghost are downright creepy, the sword-fights are exciting, and the camera-work is fluid and unusual.
“ intriguing interpretation .
“" Similarly, for Hamlet, the castle is a stark, huge affair, standing in the midst of fog, and unusual camera angles are used to make some stunning shots.
“ If much of Shakespear's original text was cut I would hate to think how boring it would be complete.
“ The cast is good - it can't compare with Olivier's Richard III cast seven years later - but it's Olivier's show, and he's tremendous, giving a thrilling performance.
“This adaptation of "Hamlet" is thought to be by many one of the best, but I found it to be a bit of a plodding snoozer.
“But there's something thrilling in this "man-of-action" version of Hamlet.
“ The rest of the cast is either stiff or completely uninteresting.
“ And thirdly, his camera roves around at a subjective level, sometimes literally detaching from the action to focus on empty sets in order to create a Phantasmagoria in the film.
“ I do like the 1948 performance better than the 1996 version with Glen Close and Mel Gibson,the gripping enmity in the 1948 movie seemed more believable!!
“ Despite the small screen and not being in letter box format, cinematically it was visually striking, with breathtaking views.
“ That being said, it still progresses at a slow pace, particularly early.
“His long and slow direction helps achieve the delicacy of the character, and of the dramatic turn of events in Denmark, and though Olivier shines throughout, the whole concept of madness and the play is the ultimate star of the show.
“ His _Henry V_ is a piece of wartime propaganda (though memorable as such).
“ Here, Olivier gives a stunning acting and directing performance as the melancholy Dane.
“ Sometimes it drags under its own weight, and sometimes it feels pretentious.
“ Put yourself in Hamlet's position: would you automatically trust a spirit that told you to commit murder just because it bore some resemblance to your father?
“One or two things to note - the camera angles and shots are often stunning, from above, using angles and shadows, extreme close-ups, and so on.
“ It is pointless.
“ Dull and dreary .
“ Olivier's gestures and body movements are stunning and unique to him.
“ He shies away from the humor completely, and instead takes a slow, purposeful tack.
“ First time I've ever been bored by a Shakespeare play or felt it was too long!
“ These three devices flow together to create drama that manages well to keep focused and emotionally compelling.
“ "Hamlet" is an example of such emotions, "King Lear" and "Merchant of Venice" are also such examples of these intense displays of rancor!!
“ Other versions seem to have dulled down the drama, making them a little boring.
“ Produced in Britain (and strictly a British project for all intensive purposes), the film became a runaway hit with most all audiences and critics (becoming the year's Best Picture Oscar winner).
“ This is already a rather slow-moving adaptation, so Olivier made a conscious decision to omit these two.
“ What a tedious few hours this film makes for!
“ He is too brooding and dull.
“Not only is the writing bad, the plot is shapeless and incoherent and pointless.
“ However events take an unexpected course and lead to the final tragedy.
“However, the scenes that work are brilliant, and despite the lack of emotional power, it is an entertaining and superbly made film that's just as worthwhile as its 90's successors (although it is marginally inferior to them, which is odd --- the 40's version inferior to the 90's remakes!
“ No one else can make the 16th century Bard's text sound modern, natural, alive, expressive, exciting, clear and full of hidden before meaning.
“ A great deal of Shakespeare's text was eliminated, getting the running time down to 2 1/2 hours, but even so there are times when the movie seems rather slow-moving, especially in the first hour or so.
“ It is the most intense we see him, and it is also when he shows his main traits: sadness, anger, confusion, philosophy, wit, happiness and determination, all in the same part.
“ Interestingly, Branagh avoided "slowness" in his Hamlet by actually making the setting bright and attractive; in his adaptation, the real darkness was in the characters themselves, not their environment.
“ I was frequently bored, irritated with Hamlet's sometimes cryptic behaviour, and felt it was too long.
“ But with such a compelling story and such beautiful writing, it's no surprise.
“ Lots of data that is somewhat confusing hogs up a little too much time when the pacing could have been much crisper.
“ It is without a doubt the most poorly constructed, boring, difficult to watch film I've ever seen.
“ To see a perfect thrilling Shakespearean villain you have to watch Kozintsev's film.
“ This is the principle reason that Olivier's rendition of "Hamlet" is so incredibly stunning!!
“ This gives the sometimes ponderous adaptation atmosphere and the black and white photography is gorgeous.
“ It is hard to imagine any other production (stage or film) competing the excitement or tension of this compelling action, and Olivier's celebrated leap from a high tower to finally do away with Claudius is worthy of every platitude it has received.
“ Whereas his "Henry V" (1946) featured some interesting technical ideas, "Hamlet" only shows what Shakespeare can be if done bad: Theatrical, boring and stiff.
“ To the modern eye, Olivier's highly enunciated, stylized delivery is stodgy, stiff and stilted.
“ Jean Simmons (then only 18 years old) was the only other actor to secure an Oscar nomination but Felix Aylmer's entertaining Polonius deserves singling out as well.
“Hamlet is one of the most complex and fascinating characters ever created, and no two great actors ever play him quite the same way.
“ Still, well worth watching, and more accessible than the book!
“ A fascinating, drastically shortened adaptation of Shakespeare's probably most cited work which reveals many impressive moments and scenes (i.