Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet (1996, Kenneth Branagh)

Release LocationsUK
DirectorKenneth Branagh
MediumColor video
Length3 hrs, 58 mins
Play ConnectionsHamlet (interpretation)
SettingElsinore Castle, Denmark. 19th Century


Kenneth Branagh's gorgeous, sweeping epic treatment of the Danish play is set in the 19th century, with England's Blenheim Palace standing in for Elsinore. Branagh continues his trend of casting well known actors in smaller roles (most notably Jack Lemmon, Gerard Depardieu, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal), with varying levels of success. In some ways, this production also brings Branagh full circle, having made his stage name playing the lead part on stage with Derek Jacobi directing, and now casting his former mentor as Claudius while he takes the helm.

Description by Tanya Gough. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

Attendant to ClaudiusRiz Abbasi
English AmbassadorRichard Attenborough
Second GravediggerSimon Russell Beale
Attendant to ClaudiusDavid Blair
GhostBrian Blessed
HamletKenneth Branagh
PriestMichael Bryant
Attendant to ClaudiusPeter Bygott
GertrudeJulie Christie
First GravediggerBilly Crystal
HecubaJudi Dench
ReynaldoGerard Depardieu
GuildensternReece Dinsdale
YorickKen Dodd
Attendant to GertrudeAngela Douglas
LucianusRob Edwards
HoratioNicholas Farrell
FranciscoRay Fearon
DoctorYvonne Gidden
PriamJohn Gielgud
Player QueenRosemary Harris
Player KingCharlton Heston
CorneliusRavil Isyanor
ClaudiusDerek Jacobi
Assistant to GertrudeRowena King
Fortinbras╩╝ CaptainJeffery Kissoon
Assistant to GertrudeSarah Lam
MarcellusJack Lemmon
LaertesMichael Maloney
Fortinbras╩╝ GeneralDuke of Marlborough
BarnardoIan McElhinney
Old NorwayJohn Mills
Sailor TwoJimi Mistry
PrologueStan Radinger
ProstituteMelanie Ramsay
Young LordAndrew Schofield
FortinbrasRufus Sewell
RosencrantzTimothy Spall
Young HamletTom Szekeres
First PlayerBen Thom
VoltimandDon Warrington
Second PlayerPerdita Weeks
OsricRobin Williams
OpheliaKate Winslet
Sailor OneDavid Yip

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorKenneth Branagh
First Assistant DirectorSimon Moseley
ProducerDavid Barron
Production DesignerTim Harvey
Costume DesignerAlexandra Byrne
CastingSimone Ireland
CastingVanessa Pereira
EditorNeil Farrell
ComposerPatrick Doyle
Screenplay (Adaptation)Kenneth Branagh
Production ManagerIona Price
Stage ManagerCharles Daish
Music ProducerPatrick Doyle
Music ProducerMaggie Rodford

Production information courtesy of: Tanya Gough