Hamlet: 6 Degrees of Video Separation

As I wrap up my video reviews for Hamlet (listen to tomorrow’s podcast!), I’ve been noticing some (to use a baseball term) utility players, actors appearing in more than one film.

The films reviewed in (the previous and/or) tomorrow’s podcast (lead actor/year/director):

  • Laurence Olivier / 1948 / Olivier
  • Richard Burton / 1964 / Bill Colleran (video capture) and John Gielgud (stage)
  • Derek Jacobi / 1980 / Rodney Bennent
  • Kevin Kline / 1990 / Kline and Kirk Browning (based on Kline’s stage direction)
  • Mel Gibson / 1990 / Franco Zefferelli
  • Kenneth Branagh / 1996 / Branagh
  • Ethan Hawke / 2000 / Michael Almereyda
  • Campbell Scott / 2000 / Scott and Eric Simonson
  • David Tennant / 2009 / Gregory Doran
infographic displaying the nine major film(ed) versions of Hamlet and how certain players have been part of multiple productions
infographic displaying the nine major film(ed) versions of Hamlet and how certain players have been part of multiple productions

Fun facts:

  • Eileen Herlie played Gertrudes 16 years apart (when she played the role in 1948, she was 11 years younger than her “son” Olivier).
  • Patrick Stewart played Claudius to both Jacobi and Tennant (separated by 29 years).
  • John Gielgud was heard but not seen as the Ghost in the 1964 version, then was seen but not heard (playing a vision of Priam based on the speech by the First Player) in Branagh’s 1996 version.
  • Diane Venora went from Ophelia in 1990 to Gertrude just ten years later.

Enjoy, and hope to see you tune in tomorrow!

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