1009 - HAMLET
(1962 U.S.A.; 1960; West German TV; NR; 120m)

Plot: Plot: Following the commands of his murdered father's ghost, a prince seeks vengeance against his uncle, who also married his mother!

Prod/USA: Edward Dmytryk
(Warlock; Oscar nom/dir/Crossfire)
Prod: ??? Weiler
Prod: Hans Gottschalk
(TV's Der Richter und sein Henker)
Dir/Scr: Franz Peter Wirth
(TV's Der Richter und sein Henker)
Translator into German: A.W. von Schlegel
Sto/Play: William Shakespeare*
Cin: Kurt Gewissen (TV's Zweilerlei Maß)
Cin: Hermann Gruber (TV's Sieben Wochen auf dem Eis)
Cin: Rudolf H. Jakob
Cin: Boris Geriup
Score: Rolf Unkel (TV's Der Richter und sein Henker)

Hamlet / Maximilian Schell*
Claudius / Hans Caninberg (The Odessa File; TV's Zweilerlei Maß)
Gertrude / Wanda Rotha (Mrs. Fitzherbert; Circus World)
Ophelia / Dunja Movar (Lampenfieber)
Polonius / Franz Schafheitlin (The Wooden Horse; 1943's Titanic)
Laertes / Dieter Kirchlechner (TV's Jeans; Automord; Der Coup)
Horatio / Karl Michael Vogler (Patton; Downhill Racer)
Rosencrantz / Eckart Dux (Himmel, Amor und Zwirn)
Guildenstern / Herbert Botticher (TV's Silverson; Zweilerlei Maß)
Osric / Karl Lieffen (TV's War and Remembrance; Zweilerlei Maß)
Bernardo / Rolf Boysen (TV's Wallenstein; Das Landhaus)
Francisco / Michael Paryla (Die Schatten Werden Langer)
The Ghost / Alexander Engel (Der Hund von Blackwood Castle)
first player / Adolf Gerstung
gravedigger / *Paul Verhoeven (dir/scr/TV's Zweilerlei Maß)

Trivia: First things first. No, the actor PAUL VERHOEVEN, who played the gravedigger, is not the same Paul Verhoeven, who produced/directed the cheesy Showgirls and Starship Troopers, two films deserving MST3K treatment. These two men are not even related to each other.

Born in 1930, MAXIMILIAN SCHELL won an Oscar for his performance in 1961's Judgment at Nuremberg which co-starred Spencer Tracy and Marlene Dietrich. He was also nominated for 1975's The Man in the Glass Booth; and 1977's Julia co-starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. Schell won a Golden Globe for playing the title role in the 1992 TV-Movie Stalin. He produced, directed, wrote, and starred in several films made in his native West Germany.

Schell's other notable English-language films include: 1958's The Young Lions with Marlon Brando; 1967's The Deadly Affair with James Mason; 1969's disaster flick Krakatoa, East of Java with Brian Keith; 1972's Pope Joan starring Liv Ullman; 1974's The Odessa File with his sister Maria Schell; 1977's A Bridge Too Far with Sean Connery and Anthony Hopkins; 1979's The Black Hole with Anthony Perkins; 1984's Marlene which had Schell interview an off-screen Dietrich; 1990's The Freshman starring Brando and Matthew Broderick; 1994's Little Odessa with Redgrave and Tim Roth; 1998's Deep Impact with Redgrave, Robert Duvall and Tea Leoni; and Vampires directed by John Carpenter. His American TV work includes: 1980's The Diary of Anne Frank; 1983's The Phantom of the Opera with Jane Seymour and Michael York; 1986's Peter the Great; 1996's The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years; and 1999's Joan of Arc.

British playwright WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) was the child of a farmer, turned successful tradesman. He attended school until the age of 15, when his father's business fell on hard times. Then, the lad's affair with a nearby farmgirl led to pregnancy and a hasty marriage. By 1592, he was a successful actor and playwright in London, but it is unknown what he did in the intervening years. By 1599, he was a partner in the new Globe Theatre, where he composed and performed in his plays until his retirement in 1612.

Most of Shakespeare's plays have been turned into movies, sometimes with abridged text, sometimes with only the plot adapted. The Bard once again has had a surge in popularity, with the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love winning critical acclaim and decent box office receipts.

There have been over 50 filmed versions of "Hamlet", most notably: in 1990, with Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, and directed by Franco Zeffirelli; in 1969, with Nicol Williamson and Anthony Hopkins; and in 1948, starring and directed by Laurence Olivier.

Olivier starred in 1936's As You Like It and 1965's Othello. He starred in and directed 1945's Henry V and 1955's Richard III. Orson Welles starred in and directed 1948's Macbeth and 1952's Othello. Kenneth Branagh starred in and directed 1989's Henry V with Derek Jacobi and Emma Thompson; and 1993's Much Ado About Nothing with Thompson, Michael Keaton, and Denzel Washington.

Director Zeffirelli also added his typical lively exhuberance to these other Shakespeare works: 1967's The Taming of the Shrew with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; and 1968's Romeo and Juliet with Leonard Whiting and OLIVIA HUSSEY (the first time two teenagers actually played the leading roles; Hussey was in episode 913-Quest of the Delta Knights). In 1986, he also directed the film version of Verdi's opera "Othello" starring Placido Domingo and featuring URBANO BARBERINI, who played Cabot in episode 519-Outlaw of Gor!

In 1999, A Midsummer's Night Dream was released, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, and Calista Flockhart. It was filmed previously in 1968 with Diana Rigg, Judi Dench, David Warner, and Helen Mirren; and in 1935 with James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and an obnoxious Mickey Rooney.

Some other recent Shakespeare connections: "Romeo and Juliet" was done in modern settings in 1996's Romeo + Juliet starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio; and was freely adapted for the 1961 musical West Side Story starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. "The Taming of the Shrew" was the premise for 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You. The plot of "The Tempest" was loosely adapted for the 1956 sci-fi film classic Forbidden Planet starring Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis.

Last Updated: 6/13/1999

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