Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet (1953, Albert McCleery)

Release LocationsUSA
DirectorAlbert McCleery
MediumBlack & white video
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsHamlet (abridgment)
SeriesHallmark Hall of Fame


One of ten Hallmark Hall of Fame productions devoted to Shakespeare (see also numbers 126, 305, 309, 484, 593, 594, 613, and 649). Joyce Hall, the Kansas City greeting card tycoon, generously supported these unique contributions to American culture. According to Alice Griffin this "two-hour" production of Hamlet, which appropriately appeared on the anniversary of Shakespeare's christening, was "the longest drama ever done on American television." Playing time was, however, more like 90 minutes, so that one infers the commercials must have been especially intrusive. Maurice Evans brought impressive credentials to this television version. Throughout WWII as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, his assignment had been to bring his "GI Hamlet" to the troops. He had also played Hamlet on Broadway

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

HoratioWesley Addy
GertrudeRuth Chatterton
OpheliaSarah Churchill
HamletMaurice Evans
PoloniusBarry Jones
GhostMalcolm Keen
ClaudiusJoseph Schildkraut
LaertesWilliam Smithers

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorAlbert McCleery
DirectorGeorge Schaefer
ProducerGeorge Schaefer
Adaptor/TranslatorMildred Freed Alberg
Adaptor/TranslatorTom Sand
ProductionRichard Sylbert

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell