Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1985, Douglas Fisher)

TitleHamlet by William Shakespeare
Release LocationsUSA
DirectorDouglas Fisher
MediumColor video
Length40 mins
Play ConnectionsHamlet (abridgment)
SeriesClassics on Video


This could be called the "Condo" Hamlet since it seems to have been filmed on the grounds of the Valeria Condominiums in White Plains, New York. Essentially it is a video-ized set of crib notes for students who find Cliff's Notes too challenging. It pauses every few minutes to ask inane questions about the play, and assaults the text not only with interpolated commentary but also with amazing distortions of Shakespeare's language. Evaluation: Anyone who knows Shakespeare's tragedy will find this production either awfully funny, or just awful, depending on the mood he/she is in. It would be difficult to say who are the worst actors. They are all sublimely and spectacularly incompetent, almost beyond belief, except possibly for Claudius who stands out like a searchlight at night in this ocean of malfeasance. Hamlet saws the air, Ophelia speaks with a nasal whine, and Laertes looks terrified. To watch it is to risk brain damage (KSR)

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

LaertesTimothy Benner
PoloniusFrederick Blais
HoratioDaniel Gallagher
GertrudePrudence Garcia-Reynart
ClaudiusJohn Gordon
OpheliaLauren Pizzuro
GraavediggerMark Reisman
GravediggerDaniel Ribreau
HamletWardjames Riley

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorDouglas Fisher
DirectorRobert Hamma
ProducerJames Cronin
CostumesSandra Wiodarski

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell