Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet: Prinz von Danemark (1960, Franz Peter Wirth)

TitleHamlet: Prinz von Danemark
Release LocationsWest Germany
DirectorFranz Peter Wirth
MediumBlack & white video
Length2 hrs, 7 mins
Dubbed LanguagesEnglish
Audiencecollege and university
general public
high school
Play ConnectionsHamlet (interpretation)


Made originally to be shown on television, the production achieved such success that Hollywood Director, Edward Dmytryk, bought it and arranged to dub in English dialogue. Unfortunately many viewers have objected to the dubbing, which inevitably makes the actors appear to be "out of sync." The staging is bare, almost minimalist, one might say, with sets of cubes, blocks and risers to demarcate the different areas of the castle. As the late Lillian Wilds wrote, the set becomes "unremittingly claustrophobic" and there is "perhaps no daylight, no world outside. Hamlet's world is completely circumscribed by blackness" (Wilds 139)

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

GuildensternHerbert Bötticher
BernardoRolf Boysen
ClaudiusHans Caninenberg
RosenkranzEckard Dux
GhostAlex. Engel
1st PlayerAdolf Gerstung
LaertesDieter Kirchlechner
OsricKarl Lieffen
OpheliaDunja Movar
FranciscoMichael Paryla
QueenWanda Rotha
PoloniusFranz Schafheitlin
HamletMaximilian Schell
GravediggerPaul Verhoeven
HoratioKarl Michael Vogler

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorFranz Peter Wirth
Assistant DirectorFrank Guthke
ProducerHans Gottschalk
DubbingEdward Dmytryk
EditorAdolf Scheyssleder
ComposerRolf Unkel
Adaptor/TranslatorA. W. W. Schlegel
Production ManagerLutz Hengst
Production ManagerHelmut Ringelmann
Sound EditorFred Brown
SoundRudolf Moller
CameraKurt Gewissen
CameraBoris Goriup
CameraHerman Gruber
CameraRudolf H. Jakob
ProductionGird Richter

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell