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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0656.  Saturday, 14 September 1996.

(1)     From:   Mark Womack <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 16:02:28 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

(2)     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 16:20:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

(3)     From:   Nell Benjamin <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 19:37:59 -0400
        Subj:   Branagh's "Hamlet"

(4)     From:   Peggy Galbraith <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 23:24:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

(5)     From:   Surajit A. Bose <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 22:50:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

(6)     From:   Patricia E. Gallagher <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Sep 1996 22:09:09 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Womack <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 16:02:28 -0600
Subject: 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

Regarding Edward Wells's question concerning the cast of Branagh's *Hamlet*,
here are all the actor's I've heard about and the roles they'll be playing:

        Kenneth Branagh: Hamlet
        Derek Jacobi: Claudius
        Julie Christie: Gertrude
        Kate Winslet: Ophelia
        Charlton Heston: Player King
        Billy Crystal: Gravedigger
        Robin Williams: Osric

I have also heard that Gerard Depardieu and Jack Lemon will play small roles,
but I don't know which ones.  If anybody does, I'd like to know.

Here are some of Branagh's comments about the film as they appeared in Liz
Smith's "Personalities" column on September 1:

"I wanted this film to be lush and glamorous, the women in fabulous ball gowns,
the men in their tight dueling trousers. It's designed to resemble the court of
some 19th-century Prussian royalty. . . . I just think the usual Gothic
interpretations are a harder period for audiences. They can't relate.  So this
was more accessible, with a modern feel, but still ornate and distant enough so
that it makes sense that these people are talking 'Shakespeare'."

"I like the idea that audiences will come and enjoy the glamour and the
intrigue. I didn't want the darkness associated with most productions.  Despite
the relentless tragedies, I think 'Hamlet' celebrates life, and I wanted to
convey the vitality, humor and sex appeal of these characters."

On casting Julie Christie, Branagh said, "It was a reverential experience
working with her. She is so knee-tremblingly beautiful, I couldn't get my jaw
off the floor for days.  Certainly, having someone like Julie interpret
Gertrude makes one understand why Hamlet is so infuriated over her marriage to
Claudius, and why Claudius had to have her. Also, since Gertrude's role, is, in
my opinion, rather underwritten, it helps to have such a great actress, whose
face conveys so much emotion."

The article also said the film will run 2 hours and 40 minutes and premiere on
Christmas Day.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 16:20:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

My understanding is that Jack Lemmon will play the gravedigger and Robin
Williams Osric.  Both casting choices have very interesting possibilities,
IMHO.

Cheers,
Doug Lanier

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nell Benjamin <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 19:37:59 -0400
Subject:        Branagh's "Hamlet"

This is addressed to Edward Wells who writes:

<<I found the names of Billy Crystal and Robin Williams in the cast of
Branagh's Hamlet. Perhaps this is old news. But I must confess I literally
howled when I read it. At any rate, I reserve judgment. Does anyone know the
actual roles they'll be playing?>>

To answer your question --and feel free to post this if you think it will
enlighten other Shaksper-eans--

Robin Williams is cast as "Osric"
Billy Crystal will be the "Gravedigger"
and Charlton Heston will dazzle us with his "Player King".

Hope this is helpful, and sorry about the unorthodox posting methods.

Nell Benjamin

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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy Galbraith <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 23:24:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

> Skimming through a list of fall and early-winter movie openings, I found the
> names of Billy Crystal and Robin Williams in the cast of Branagh's Hamlet.
...deletia....
> But no Thompson.

was anyone truly surprised?

Peggy

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Surajit A. Bose <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 22:50:50 -0500
Subject: 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0653 Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

Edward Wells is close. Billy Crystal plays the gravedigger. Robin Williams is
Osric. Personally, I think that's an inspired choice; but let's see.

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia E. Gallagher <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Sep 1996 22:09:09 -0700
Subject: 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0653  Q: Branagh's *Hamlet*

Billy Crystal is playing the First Gravedigger, and Robin Williams is playing
Osric. Charlton Heston is the Player King.

For a complete cast list, check the Internet Movie Database at:

http://us.imdb.com/

Patricia Gallagher

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