Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Hamlet: The Drama of Revenge (1920, Svend Gade)

TitleHamlet: The Drama of Revenge
Release LocationsGermany
DirectorSvend Gade
MediumBlack & white video
Length1 hrs, 18 mins
Audiencecollege and university
Play ConnectionsHamlet (adaptation)


One of the very best silent Shakespeare films, this Hamlet yet plays havoc with the common understanding of the Prince of Denmark's story. Based on Edward P. Vining's eccentric book, The Mystery of Hamlet (Philadelphia, 1881), it features a prince who, though actually a woman, for reasons of state has been raised by Gertrude as a young man. Burdened with this secret, Hamlet at Wittenberg falls in love with Horatio. Naturally Hamlet rejects Ophelia but still feels pangs of jealousy when Horatio falls in love with Ophelia. Only at Hamlet's death when Horatio holds her in his arms is the prince's true gender revealed

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

FortinbrasFritz Achterberg
GertrudeMathilde Brandt
GhostPaul Conradi
LaertesAnton de Verdier
OpheliaLilly Jacobssen
PoloniusHans Junkermann
HamletAsta Nielson
HoratioHeinz Stieda
ClaudiusEduard von Winterstein

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorSvend Gade
DirectorHeinz Schall
CostumesHugo Baruch
CostumesL Verch
PhotographyCurt Courant
PhotographyAxel Graatkajer

Company Overview

Producer Art-Film

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell