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What's it About
Downcast over the recent, unexpected death of his father and the seemingly rushed remarriage of his mother, Gertrude (Herlie), to his uncle, Claudius (Sydney), young Danish prince Hamlet (Olivier) is a troubled, melancholy young man. When his father's ghost appears one night and reveals that Claudius killed him, Hamlet vows revenge.
Why we love it
Though dozens of versions of Shakespeare's best-known play have been filmed, none rival this moody 1948 adaptation by master dramatist Olivier, who produced, directed, and acted. Streamlining the text to achieve a leaner, tighter feel, Olivier wrings tremendous feeling out of his indecisive, ever-brooding Hamlet, while the radiant Jean Simmons makes an exceptional Ophelia, the dour prince's doomed lover. Distinguished by its inventive camerawork and lush black-and-white photography, Olivier's "Hamlet" won four Oscars, including Best Actor (Olivier) and Picture.