Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet at Elsinore (1964, Philip Saville)

TitleHamlet at Elsinore
Release LocationsGB
DirectorPhilip Saville
MediumBlack & white video
Length2 hrs, 50 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsHamlet (teleplay)


The main feature of this Hamlet, besides the excellent cast, is the setting, which is the actual castle in Elsinore, where the events depicted in Shakespeare's play may or may not have occurred in the tenth century. The play has been necessarily cut to under three hours time and the order of events is that set forth in the 1603 First Quarto. The production was done in cooperation with Danish television in a kind of semi-documentary form. For an excellent summary of the technical details, see Morris (q.v., below). Following some difficulties in finding a corporate sponsor, it was televised in the U.S.A. on both commercial (CBS) and PBS channels on 17 June 1964 and 15 November, 1964 as a part of the Shakespeare Quatercentenary celebration

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

LucianusSteven Berkoff
CaptainJoby Blanshard
HoratioMichael Caine
RosencrantzDavid Calderisi
PriestCharles Carson
PoloniusAlec Clunes
BarnardoMichael Goldie
PrologueWilliam Hobbs
Player QueenLindsay Kemp
GravediggerRoy Kinnear
OsricPhilip Locke
LaertesDyson Lovell
OpheliaJo Maxwell Muller
HamletChristopher Plummer
MarcellusPeter Prowse
ClaudiusRobert Shaw
FortinbrasDonald Sutherland
Player KingDavid Swift
GertrudeJune Tobin
GuildensternBill Wallis

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorPhilip Saville
ProducerPeter Luke
ComposerRichard Rodney Bennett
Fight CoordinatorWilliam Hobbs
Technical DirectorOle Drerer
CostumesOlive Harris
MakeupChristine Hillcoat
LightingRobert Wright
ConductorJohn Hollingsworth
ProductionPoul Arnt Thomsen

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell