greenspun.com : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

Has anyone heard of plans to release the DVD version?

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), December 05, 1999


Ok, ok, I know there have been lots of rumours spread about this before but I think that this is the real deal. Some members from the Kenneth Branagh mailing list met the MAN at the premiere of The Play What I Wrote (a play directed by Ken) in New York and drilled him on this very subject.

He mentioned that Hamlet would be released in.....wait for it......Spring 2004 with extras (he reportedly said "documentary" and "interviews"). It's a looooong wait but at least we know there's light at the end of the tunnel. And one can only speculate on what those extras might be. Director's commentary? Making of...? Extended nekkid scenes?

-- Virginia (vsmleong@yahoo.com), April 02, 2003.

Hi all,

More disappointing news regarding the DVD. Apparently the Mel Gibson version of Hamlet (*gag*) is being released on DVD at the end of February and therefore, because somebody feels that too many Hamlets on DVD around the same time is bad thing, the Branagh one has been pushed back to the fall. As always, don't get your hopes up too high on an imminent release.

-- Virginia (vsmleong@yahoo.com), February 10, 2004.

Nope, not yet, but I'll post something as soon as I hear anything. I think they're waiting until I can afford to buy a DVD player before they release it. :)

-- Virginia (vleong@attglobal.net), December 08, 1999.

Yes, if anyone hears anything about a DVD release, please email me. That particular DVD would be a single best DVD I'd ever own! Just imagine if they set up the DVD so that you could jump to say "Act III, Scene II" with a click of a button.

-- James Panarella (james_panarella@hotmail.com), August 05, 2000.

Once more, add my name to the list of people to contact when the DVD comes out. I teach a movie class on the sides and would love to add a copy of this masterpeice

-- Marc Lowe (marc_lowe@dell.com), August 25, 2000.

Yes, I would also be interested in a DVD version of Hamlet. It's the best rendition I've seen. When we watched it for the third time in class, my friend and I turned to each other and exchanged a deliciously evil grin.

-- Kevin Butler (zippyfrog@yahoo.com), November 24, 2000.

I'd like to be on that list of folks who will be notified upon the DVD release. Yet, until then, with whom may we plead for its earliest release? Who owns U.S. distribution rights?

-- Martin Wasson (marto@marto.net), December 22, 2000.

As far as I know, it was Columba Tristar that distributed the home video of the film so I assume that they would do the DVD as well. Have heard zip, zero, nada about IF or WHEN the DVD version would be available. I'm sure it would sell a lot of copies though, given the number of people who've requested it! I don't know why it hasn't come out yet. Even Branagh's latest Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost has been released on DVD.

-- Virginia (vsmleong@home.com), December 22, 2000.

Regarding the Hamlet DVD. If you follow the official link, it takes you to Warner Brothers site. I highly suggest everyone follow this link: http://www.warnerbros.com/pages/help/help_feedback.jsp and ask them to release the movie on DVD in a high quality transfer, enhanced for Widescreen. I suggested a high quality special edition like Men In Black (theirs), Fight Club, Se7en and Bridge on the River Kwai. All four are 2 disc editions and amazing.

-- Brian A. Thomas (brianathomas@nci2000.net), February 01, 2001.

Following the suggested link to request it . . . however, add me to the list of folks to know when it is released.

-- Andrew Casad (acasad@ucsd.edu), February 25, 2001.

Could someone let me know when a dvd version comes out as well?

-- Adam (a_duclos@yahoo.com), March 23, 2001.

If anyone knows the release date for Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet on DVD, Please let me know ASAP. Thanx

-- Steve Tate (yinyang78@hotmail.com), April 21, 2001.

Still nothing. And now Ethan Hawk's Hamlet is to be released on DVD! I think Brannagh's version is sone of the most called for DVD's yet. It's such a long, luxurious version that it's perfect for digital disc.

-- J Utah (furthertcb@yahoo.co.uk), May 02, 2001.

Proof that there is no justice in the world.

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), May 03, 2001.

I followed that link... haven't heard from Warner Bros. Hopefully it will be released on DVD. It is the best Hamlet movie I have ever seen. Visually, the setting and cinematography is amazing!

-- Dan (silencer18x@yahoo.com), July 26, 2001.

Dude, I have no clue when it's gonna be released or anything but let me know if you hear anything and I'll keep ya posted if I hear anything!

-- (bdwolf01@athena.louisville.edu), August 06, 2001.

I am a die-hard Kenneth Branagh fan, as is my wife. We are anxiously awaiting his Hamlet to come out on DVD. We have not hear anything either, but would someone be so kind as to email me when they hear something about it? Thanks so much.

-- Travis G. Gray (TravisGGray@msn.com), October 06, 2001.

Please Lord let me know the status of Hamlet on DVD. If there's one movie that was meant to be seen this way, this is it. This is taking much, much too long.

-- Sean Wheeler (seanwheeler@hotmail.com), October 23, 2001.

I'm waiting from long time to see the dvd caming out but i've looked all over the web, nothing. I really hope that it will came out. Please..

-- Benjamin (ben2031@hotmail.com), October 31, 2001.

I am also a HUGE Kenneth Branagh fan! I would also like to be notified as soon as possible when this spectacular movie comes out on DVD.

-- Raechel (jacq@sugardog.com), December 06, 2001.

I got this from: http://www.dvdfile.com/news/special_report/events/studio_day/2001/warn er.html

Some titles you may or may not know about that are due in 2002 include 20th Anniversary Editions of Blade Runner and Poltergeist due by the end of the year (as well as the first-ever DVD release of Poltergeist II: The Other Side), and an SE of Victor/Victoria, The Mission, Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet, and Klute. Due in early 2002 is Joe Vs. The Volcano, and also on the Amblin docket is Innerspace, and new SEs of The Color Purple and Gremlins and Gremlins 2. Other SE reissues due in 2002 include, at long last, new versions of Goodfellas, Amadeus and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

-- Dinkoh (dinkohumd@hotmail.com), December 29, 2001.

I was actually looking for Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet on DVD when I came across this. It is by far the best version available, and I own it on Video CD, but the limitations of that format is annoying. I saw it on tv last night, actually, and it struck me how even minor roles had been filled with actors who could very well have been capable enough to play the lead, making the overall quality of the movie unparallelled.

I saw the Ethan Hawke Hamlet recently too, and in comparison, it was rather bleak and dull, even with the present-day setting. The modernised version of Romeo & Juliet does a lot for the play, but the modernised one of Hamlet isn't really worth seeing... Anyway, I'll keep looking for more info on the Branagh Hamlet. If anyone knows when it is due, let me know as well.

Hakon www.hakonsoreide.com

-- Hakon Soreide (mail@hakonsoreide.com), December 29, 2001.

I asked for Branagh's version of Hamlet on DVD for Christmas and I obviously didn't get it. I would also like to be contacted if it ever comes out. For those who enjoy Shakespeare's plays on film, I recommend seeing Titus with Anthony Hopkin's. It is very visually entertaining and passionate!

-- Jennifer Gloria (jennneeeooo@yahoo.com), January 02, 2002.

I cannot express my excitement upon finding this discussion topic! I thought I was quite alone in my deep desire to possess this film but only at it's best - the DVD version - only to find that Warner Bros. has neglected this gem or chosen to keep it from us. As I read each entry, I was getting discouraged for all of us that the day may never come. But alas! Warner Bros. has delivered the good news! Coming in 2002! I have never been so happy for the new year to arrive! So my fingers are crossed that it be one of the first releases from their list. Thank you all for sharing your desires here so I could find this information!

-- Vicki (vmathiason@hotmail.com), January 09, 2002.

yes, please, me too. I NEED it on dvd (al4hoursofit)

-- bart (bart@getalife.be), February 14, 2002.

add to me your email list - the DVD has got to be on a release schedule somewhere. I bought a video copy recently in the UK which was cut!

-- paul kiddie (dharmabum@sega-europe.com), February 17, 2002.

A couple of weeks ago I started reading Shakespeare and made it through Much Ado About Nothing (which I believe is an awesome film as well) and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then I watched Kenneth Branagh's Othello which I found very entertaining. But never had I been so taken by a film like Branagh's Hamlet.

I avoided that movie for years because of it's length, although I always had a curiosity about it. I recently viewed the Mel Gibson version and I am amazed at the difference. While I think the Gibson version actually had slightly better stage design and lighting, that is the only advantage to that version. Branagh is a brilliant actor and director, and apart from Jack Lemmon (God rest his soul) there is not a blemish on this film. My quest for the DVD only started last week, and to read that it will be released this year is a great comfort to me. If any movie is more deserving of a special edition, I don't know if I could name it.

-- DrewH (callthewolf@yahoo.com), February 26, 2002.

Please notify me on any news about the release of Hamlet on DVD- it would so wonderful to be able to skip around the acts instead of spending hours fast forwarding and rewinding to take notes and reflect on the use of filmography!

-- Britni Reinhold (britni@u.arizona.edu), March 03, 2002.

I have this page bookmarked since about 18 months. At that time I did not own neither a dvd player nor a TV set. When I read that KB's Hamlet was to be shown in German TV, I went for a company I once worked, where there was a TV in the social room. I watched about the first hour - and the door opened and three others came demanding to watch the American National Basketball League broadcast ... put me on the list, so I can watch it to the end, even willing to pay for, if inevitable.


-- Axel Joensson (a.joensson@web.de), March 30, 2002.


Verzeiung! Mein Deutsch ist ja sehr schlecht! Ich mo'chte hier ein bisschen u'ben. Haben Sie jetzt Video, oder nur DVD, weil vielleicht ko'nnen wir fur Sie eine Kopie machen?


-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), March 30, 2002.


Verzeihung! Mein Deutsch ist ja sehr schlecht! Ich mo'chte hier ein bisschen u'ben. Haben Sie jetzt Video, oder nur DVD, weil vielleicht ko'nnen wir fur Sie eine Kopie machen?


-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), March 30, 2002.

I too would relly like to get my hands on the DVD - when it is eventually released! People are saying that it is due for release, but does antone know exactly when yet??

-- Gemma Griffiths (loonygemma@aol.com), April 07, 2002.

Like everyone else here I have been dying for Hamlet on DVD. I did a search for hamlet on amazon.com a discovered this:

Hamlet (1996) NOT YET RELEASED: The studio is currently not producing this title on DVD, but to be notified when it is available, enter your e-mail address at right. You'll also be voting for this release; we'll let the studio know how many customers are waiting for this title.

The site address for the American Amazon is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JLCI/qid=101 9464226/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_6/102-5561943-3840164 I suspect that the UK amazon will have similar information on it. Go check it out.

-- A Tapp (altapp@shaw.ca), April 22, 2002.

Yes! Everyone go over to Amazon.com and sign up for the release info on the Hamlet DVD! They say that you will be notified as soon as pre-ordering is available! (No dates, yet, though).

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), April 22, 2002.

Whoah there on the at Amazon link. Drop the ref="" part when you cut and paste. Some poster is trying to collect a commission off all your well intended orders for this wonderful movie.

-- Tipster (tipster@yahoo.com), July 06, 2002.


Why am I shouting when no one here can make it happen any faster? Just venting.

BTW - there is a great deal of crap now, on DVD. Fact. Not opinion.

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), July 21, 2002.

Casey, I feel for you; honestly. I have a theory: they're waiting for the tenth anniversary. Has anyone written any dirty letters? I mean the really filthy, sarcastic sort? Or maybe everyone should print out this page and send it.

And when you do, wrap a brick with it and send it C.O.D.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), July 23, 2002.

No, I really don't think that anyone would care. Fascists.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. OOOOOMMMMMM. meditate with me, children.... OOOOOMMMM

-- Casey (mikken@neo.rr.com), July 24, 2002.

I have heard that it was to be released later in 2002, well here we are, nearing the end of 2002, and yet, no sign of our beloved film. I must say though that this is THE best rendition of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and pretty close to one of the best movies ever made..Kenneth Branagh is absolutely brilliant...bar none

-- greg (gp_346@hotmail.com), September 09, 2002.

God why do you torture us so?!!! I have no clue why this film is not out on dvd yet. Maybe they are scared of putting a movie out that would require more than one disc just for the main movie itself? Anyone know if this movie (~4 hours) can fit on one dvd?

-- Brian B (movies@dekscussion.com), October 01, 2002.

Yeah, right! Like "Lord of the Rings", eh? I don't see them having a problem with putting out a 3 or 4 disc set there! Fascists.

-- Casey (mikken@neo.rr.com), October 01, 2002.

i want this damn movie on DVD......and yer it can fit on one multi layer high capacity DVD (the movie), but that would cause the movie itself to cost more........who cares.....i want it, and i want it now on DVD.

-- Beej (aeternusmalus@hotmail.com), October 09, 2002.

You know, I'm beginning to want a DVD player, just so I can want the DVD, so I can join in the swearing. I feel so left out ... But I empathise. I do.

I was in a jewellery store recently: they're selling replica LORD OF THE RINGS 'One' rings. Isn't that pathetic. And all we want is a bloody DVD, not a Claudius cameo. But if someone starts flogging Hamlet bodkins, we can all attack Warner Bros or whoever.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), October 09, 2002.

November! It's November and STILL no news about this DVD. I'm (gradually) beginning to doubt the 2002 release rumours... Hmmm.

Or does everybody else know something I don't?

-- Simon (fingermouse01@msn.com), November 08, 2002.

Here's one more mad fan waiting for Hamlet on DVD. I wouldn't trust so-called release dates for new DVDs or even for theatrical releases. They are often wrong. One would think that since everything else in the world is on DVD that someone might have the vision to put this excellent version on Hamlet on one, but the powers that be feel old episodes of MASH are more important. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

-- Angela Bowers (gingerr36@yahoo.com), November 12, 2002.

Just want to add my plea and protest to the list. I've just bought and seen the butchered PAL VHS version and been reminded how brilliant the original was, but I was very disappointed at how much's been cut out. It looks like we don't even have the option of getting the full movie on tape in the UK. So roll on DVD!

-- Donald I Macdonadl (donald_i@[nospam]madasafish.com), November 26, 2002.

My God, this is insufferable. I don't care if it's an epic, double- disk "Special Collector's Edition" release with a hundred special features

Right now, I'd settle for just a descent film-to-digital transfer (with, perhaps, a simple commentary--nothing fancy).


-- Harry Lime (th3rdman@rogers.com), November 27, 2002.

I have to agree with everyone here why is one of the most sumptuous shakespeare productions ever being withheld from a dvd realse !!!

-- Tim (timbrechin@blueyonder.co.uk), November 28, 2002.

I've read in several places on the internet that Warner have a four disc set in the pipeline for Region One release.

This may well be true, and the reason for its continual non-appearance to date could have a lot to do with Branagh himself. He's a busy man and has been on stage in Britain this year as well as appearing (and stealing the show) in 'Harry Potter and the Chmber of Secrets'.

Hamlet is by far Ken's finest film and performance in my eyes, and I'm sure if it was going to be released on DVD he's want to add a commentary, documetary etc. to accompany it himself.

If this means that we're all waiting for him to get round to tampering with 'Hamlet' for a final, definitive DVD release, then I'll keep hanging on.

Altertnatively, it could be that Warners (or whoever) couldn't care less about holding the rights to such a wonderful piece of film, are are clearly blind to the demand that exists for it. Educational copies alone would make it worthwhile surely?

Please Ken, make sure 'Hamlet' gets a sumtuous release in 2003!

-- Jonathan Stephens (richardlenoir@hotmail.com), December 22, 2002.

As the first post in 2003, I would like to first agree with the brilliant people who have contributed to this poignantly comedic protest. Secondly, I would like to say, for the record, there is no other movie more appropriate for dvd formatting. To hold it back is to fly in the face of an obvious divine intention and to temp the fates to unleash their own slings and arrows.

-- Stephen Hardy (stephen_hardy@hotmail.com), January 02, 2003.

if anyone hears about a DVD release, please mail me. Thank you.

-- Dito (dito2k2@hotmail.com), January 04, 2003.

If you go to amazon.com you will find Branagh's Hamlet listed in their DVD section but naturally you cannot buy it yet. They do however have an "email me when available" option in the top right hand side of the screen. I've used this facility in the past and it has worked.


-- LJJ (ljj59@hotmail.com), January 05, 2003.

I would be very interested in obtaining a DVD or at least a release date for this fine work and likely Kenneth Brannagh's best film performance to date. Please let me know when it happens

-- chris diebold (saperaude@hotmail.com), January 09, 2003.

Much to my dismay I found out today, after much hunting, that Hamlet (with Mel Gibson) is only on VHS! How archaic!!! We ARE in the 21st century -aren't we?!?! Release Hamlet on DVD!!! Release them both -I never saw Branagh's version and would love to have the option to see it -NOT on VHS! Sign me up for the DVD release notification!

-- Jennifer Lang (halapino_chic@yahoo.com), January 24, 2003.

Let's go Ken!! Magnificent film (ashane about Jack Lemon; I love the guy but he is either out of his depth with this or well past his prime); I've seen the VHS at least 25 times (and my wife has not yet filed for divorce). When the VHS version comes out it will put me over the top with the decision to go with a wide screen 50~60 inch HDTV compatible montitor (if this delay goes on much longer maybe a real, honest-to-goodness HDTV). Samsung's DLP 2002~03 DLP sets seem to be worth the price at the time and the best cost/value option (IMHO) -- I just need the justification! go.. go... go.... !!

-- John Horisk (jhorisk@dca.net), February 01, 2003.

I've only seen the thing twice, but the images linger still. And the funny (or sad) thing about the film is how it serves to demonstrate how really mediocer most Hollywood films are. So I wait ... impatiently.

-- Jack Osborn (JOSBORN@CIRCUITELECTRIC.COM), February 04, 2003.

All contemporary Hollywood films are mediocre dross. Come on! Don't be so reasonable!!

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), February 08, 2003.

I would like to point out that it is cold and snowy outside, tonight. Conditions are perfect to put in the Hamlet DVD, sip some hot cocoa, and revel in the Bard's language.

Unfortunately, one of the ingredients is missing at my house (and I don't mean the cocoa!).

If there is any justice in the Universe, please, let this DVD be released soon....

-- Casey (mikken@neo.rr.com), February 28, 2003.

Please add me to the notification list if ANYONE hears when Keneth Branagh's Hamlet will be released on DVD. THANKS!

(My guess is that Kenneth wants to do director's comments and simply hasn't had time. I sure wish we could convince him and TRISTAR to make it a priority).

-- Gayle (hlthe2b@aol.com), March 01, 2003.

MUST...HAVE...D...V...D!!!!!!!!!! I don't know about anyone else, but I am dying to get my hands on a copy. These people are mad if they don't release it soon!!!!!

-- Elizabeth Martin (micmacmartin@hotmail.com), March 02, 2003.

Oh my God! I NEED Hamlet on DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cries* I can't even get Hamlet on video where I live without missing out on half of the damn movie! Why, oh why can't they release it on DVD????????? By the way, like everyone else, please let me know if you hear anything about it's release...

-- Michelle (inrestraints@hotmail.com), March 08, 2003.

Like everyone else, this DVD has been at the top of my wish list for a long time. I saw this at www.thedigitalbits.com this morning.

"It looks like there may finally be good news for you fans of actor/director Kenneth Branagh's film version of Hamlet. According to People.com's daily news e-mail, Branagh has confirmed with them that the 1996 film is being prepared for DVD release next spring by Warner Bros. Look for the title to include at least some extras."

-- Dan (smitty133@hotmail.com), April 02, 2003.

Äh... Warner Bros ????? THAT cannot be correct.

The biggest problem for a DVd-Release would be the lenght of the picture. With 224 Minutes (242 Minutes NTSC) the Movie is far too long even for a double-layer disc. This means that a DVD-release is only possible with a.) lousy picture quality and a bitrate of <3 or b.) on two discs where you have to change the dics after 50% of the movie.

-- Daniel Zuko (Daniel.zuko@gmx.net), April 13, 2003.

That doesn't matter. The fucking film cuts after "How all occasions..." anyway for an intermission, doesn't it?

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), April 14, 2003.

The original "where is the DVD?" question is now 2 1/2 years old. Must we all drown like Ophelia first? Did Rosenguild and Krantzensturn steal the DVD master file? It is an enigma, like the play. The steep and thorny way to DVD is too many years in arrears. I want to see Kate Winslet in pre-Titanic bloom.

NO solace.

-- Mark Creech (mcreech1@houston.rr.com), April 17, 2003.

Correction: the original "where is the DVD?" question is 3 1/2 years old!

-- Mark Creech (mcreech1@houston.rr.com), April 17, 2003.

I'd heard from a friend at Warner Bros. that the studio heads are, infact, taking the "Hamlet" DVD very seriously. One of the reason it's been put off for so long is that these people want to do a decent job--not only to please the fans, but because Warner Bros. is a quality company who makes movies for the right reasons.

We've all heard rumors about the 4-disc set--I can't vouch for it's existence but can say, with absolute certainty, that "Hamlet" hasn't been forgotten.

Patience all....

-- Iago (iagos_eyes@hotzzzzzzzmail.com), May 27, 2003.

Bollocks. Warner Bros do crap DVD releases. They issue things in those shitty cardboard click sleeves.

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), May 27, 2003.

Check this out!


Marilyn Mosher says that the DVD is coming out in spring 2004!

-- Casey (mikken@neo.rr.com), May 29, 2003.

I'm waiting for this, AND the Mel Gibson version to be released on DVD. I watched the Mel Gibson (1990) version last night on VHS. I was skeptical before watching it, as the Kenneth Branagh version has long been dear to me! Could Mel Gibson pull it off? I was very pleased. Yes, the dialogue was cut, scenes were pulled, etc. But, there performances are spectacular, particularly Gibson's and Close's. Anyway, I'm very much in anticipation for the release of both DVDs. BTW, I visited the link posted in the previous post. It looks VERY dubious. No proof, no explanations, no nothing. I'm not convinced yet of an '04 release...........

-- Ryan Kelly (ryankelly@ou.edu), June 20, 2003.

When (if?) this DVD is released, I wonder if they will actually include sub-titles. I watched my VHS copy the other night and realised that a lot of the dialogue is delivered very fast, so fast that I do not think un-edited subtitles could keep up. Does this mean they will try and paraphrase Shakespeare for the subtitles? In any case I'd like to see one set of subtitles in modern english to illuminate some of the more obscure language. Somehow I don't think we will get either.

-- LJJ (ljj59@hotmail.com), February 02, 2004.

Bad news on the DVD front to report. Apparently, Warner Home Video participated in an online chat recently, where they responded to a question regarding the DVD release. Warner stated that "Legal issues preclude our releasing the Branagh HAMLET at the moment". What, exactly, that means for the future of the DVD is unclear (and I hesitate to speculate considering how many times have I've been wrong in the past) but it's the first time we've heard a peep out of the studio and the news isn't good.

-- Virginia (fiver_1@yahoo.com), March 20, 2004.

I still am dumbfounded why this as not had a release, the amount of forums and message boards i have been to demanding this gets a release on DVD is astounding they would make a fortune on it sales as so many of us want this so badly.

-- Tim (timbrechin@blueyonder.co.uk), April 01, 2004.

This may be old news to some, but at a recent live chat forum (8th March at http://www.hometheaterforum.com/files/warner04.txt) between DVD fans and Warner Bros someone asked when Branagh's Hamlet will be available. The Warner Bros spokesman said "Legal issues preclude our releasing the Branagh HAMLET at the moment." So it's back in limbo.

-- LJJ (LJJ59@hotmail.com), April 06, 2004.

Did anyone ask, What legal issues?

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), April 06, 2004.

The legal issues were not explained. Their answers to all questions were short and not expanded upon. You can cut and paste the URL in my post above to see their response.

-- LJJ59 (LJJ59@hotmail.com), April 09, 2004.

I was reading the discussions, and I can't wait till the DVD is released either. I'll keep checking but put me on the list as well, of people wanting to know when it is released

-- Luke Arnts (luke.arnts@tiscali.nl), April 27, 2004.

I can not believe that they would release Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" before Kenneth Branagh's. Nothing bad against Mel Gibson or anything but Kenneth is a superior actor especially doing Shakespeare. I would never buy Mel's version and I am waiting impatiently for Kenneth's. I will not buy it until it comes out on DVD. Though I have rented it a lot on VHS.

-- Laura Sirbaugh (lldsirbaugh@hotmail.com), May 02, 2004.

I've been looking around for the dvd, I've tried just about every store. I want this dvd. Can anyone give me any new news on when it will be out?

-- Shannon Atson (premedstudent2010@yahoo.com), May 10, 2004.

I have no answer. Other than a few operas, the only recorded media that I can imagine sitting through more than once are "Canadian Bacon","They Might Be Giants" and Branagh's "Hamlet". I think it would be appropriate to boycot all releases from the company responsible for this travesty.

-- Robert B Slaughter (rslaught@rochester.rr.com), May 18, 2004.

I've also been waiting for the DVD to complete my collection. If anyone hears about its release please contact me.

ALSO: Do you think it'll be a DOUBLE-DISC set?

-- Kenny (KenBKLYN11202@nyc.rr.com), June 29, 2004.

Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, resolve itself into a dew, or that Warner Brothers had not fixed its movie rights 'gainst re-release! Oh God, God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seems to me all the uses of VHS. Fie on it! Ah, Fie! Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature possess it merely. That it should come to this! THIS! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0780629450/

To buy or not to buy... that is the question...

-- Josh Ockert (torstenvl@yahoo.com), July 20, 2004.

i once devoted 16 hours of my day to the watching of this supreme version of Will's masterpiece. (sorry, 1 half hour for the rewinding, so doing the math...)latest RUMOR is fall of '04. the best version available to us happens to be on the most archaic form, namely VHS. ironic? you decide.sorry, nothing concrete, but please notify me when it is available on the big DVD. aragweth

-- just call me Mick (violenturges@epix.net), August 02, 2004.

Here is our chance to let Warners know we want this DVD. Go to this link http://www.empireonline.co.uk/site/features/special/dvdmostwanted/ provided by Empire Online magazine, who will pass on our most wanted DVD to Warners. Vote early and vote often for Branagh's Hamlet.

-- LJJ (LJJ59@hotmail.com), September 05, 2004.

WOW what a tread from Dec 1999 to now . And the question still remains unanswered, and the answer unfulfilled.

Has anyone heard of plans to release the DVD version?

-- nk (aireox@earthlink.net), September 15, 2004.

AHHHHH I CAN'T WAIT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let's mass produce bootleg copies, forcing whatever company it is that isn't making real copies into a) suing me or b) RELEASING THE MOVIE!

ahhhhh please add me to the list of people who would like to know when it is released.

-- Liz S. (brak131@aol.com), September 16, 2004.

I love using his Hamlet for my english classes, but the school copy has finally died, I can't rent it anywhere in my city, can't order another vhs copy, it is not available on DVD. Can't find a bootleg on the web.

Guess I will end up showing the Lion King and have the students fill in the blanks

Too bad

-- K H (ateacher3@hotmail.com), October 14, 2004.

No...no lion king. ebay is your friend.

-- Drew Winterberg (drewinter@aol.com), October 23, 2004.

Hello, I just wrote a fairly scathing letter to Jim Cardwell at Warner Bros. Apparently he was instrumental in pushing for the DVD release of "Return of the Living Dead: Part II." If anyone needs a copy, I have the letterbox edition on VHS and have converted it to a three disc DVD. Let me know and I will loan you it! The quality is pretty good considering it is from a VHS, but I would really like to have the REAL DVD. I have included the full text of my letter for your amusement below...

Jim Cardwell Warner Home Video 4000 Warner Blvd. Burbank, California 91522

SUBJECT: DVD Release of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet

Dear Mr. Cardwell,

I was directed to you by a website that listed you as a person instrumental, if not solely responsible, for the release of the DVD Return of the Living Dead: Part II. I am disappointed to say the least, that your company would expend such effort as to release a “B” standard horror film when a masterpiece of modern cinema sits out of print and difficult to find. I refer of course, to Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 full-text production of William Shakespeare.

Though I am sure the production costs of this film were substantial, and the theatrical reception tepid, I believe that this film will succeed as a DVD release. It has a star studded cast: Branagh, Winslet, Jacoby, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, et al. Universities across the nation would clamor to purchase this film because it is THE ONLY full-text rendition of Shakespeare’s best play.

A simple “Google” search will elicit hundreds of sites of people anxiously awaiting the release of this film. Do not take my word for it; look yourself.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

-- Mark Cassello (mjcass@hotmail.com), November 04, 2004.


A few months ago I searched ebay and amazon for the DVD. Frustrated, I gave in and just bought the VHS version. I just could not believe that Branagh's Hamlet- the best version of Hamlet- was not on DVD. It just blew my mind. So as I'm wandering the Hamlet websites tonight, I find this discussion... began waaaay back in 1999?!! and am still shocked that WB has not released it with this much demand. Legal-schmegal.. I think that's a bunch of hooey. I want my Kenneth on DVD, darnit.

-- Juliana (juliana_alaskewicz@yahoo.com), November 04, 2004.

"Come what, come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day." This quotation is from MACBETH, of course, but it describes the anxiety I have felt waiting and waiting and waiting for a DVD release of Branagh's HAMLET. "'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." I have been at the chalkboard for thirty-four years, and once -- just once -- before I retire, I would love to play a DVD recording of this wonderfully filmed version. Once again, the teaching profession -- at least, the teaching profession in ENGLISH - - becomes shortchanged. This fully filmed treatment might well have taken a nosedive at the box office, but there are enough rabid Shakespearean fans in the English-speaking world -- let alone the English teaching profession -- to insure a long love affair with Branagh's film. A pox on Warners!!!

-- jb (baker845@aol.com), November 17, 2004.

Yeah, it's awfully annoying...I want it - on DVD - for Christmas, but I dunno if it'll be out by then...Seriously, there's other Hamlet's out on DVD, just not this one...the best one! Wait a sec...I just did a Google search for it and...

" Hallelujah! Warner Bros is bringing out Hamlet on DVD in the spring of 2004. It will probably include the documentaries "To Be Hamlet" and "The Readiness is all" and some extras, but no word on a director's commentary. Pretty please? "

Spring 2004? I believe this is a UK site so...spring's gone! Hey! Where is it! I don't believe this. Constantly postponing it...I also bought it on VCD but the quality was so horrific that we had to return it. What on earth can Warner Bros. be thinking?!

-- Hamlet (theseraven@hotmail.com), November 20, 2004.

Well, it's now listed at Amazon UK (but not Amazon US) and sendit.com for a 10th Jan Release. Very little detail given with a price of £5.99?????? At that price it can only be a bare bones release. Will have to wait to see what the USA release looks like.

-- LJJ59 (LJJ59@hotmail.com), December 02, 2004.

I give up. This release of Hamlet is cursed. Both Amazon UK and Sendit.com are now saying their listing of this release is actually the 1969 film version and not the Branagh version as originally posted on their websites.

This is cut from sendit.com website :

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Billy Crystal, Gerard Depardieu, Charlton Heston, Derek Jacobi, Jack Lemmon, Rufus Sewell, Robin Williams, Kate Winslet Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Nicol Williamson's portrayal of Hamlet was greeted with storms of applause on both the London and Broadway stage. This performance is here captured on film by director Tony Richardson, bringing life to William Shakespeare's immortal play.

Please note: this is a DVD release of the 1969 cinema adaptation of Hamlet and not the 1996 Kenneth Branagh version.

-- LJJ59 (LJJ59@hotmail.com), December 22, 2004.

Didn't they say it's legal issues or something? But really. What's to take to law? I mean, can't Branagh sit down one side of the table (or the Atlantic, on the phone), and Warner Bros. on the other, and they say to each other, OK let's release it on this date, and it happens? Even Hamlet didn't take this long to get something done.

-- catherine england (catherine.england@arts.usyd.edu.au), December 22, 2004.

Update: January 7, 2005. I spoke with Kenneth Branagh's office today and was informed of the situation. Warner Bros. bought Columbia Tristar who originally owned the distribution rights to the film. Along the way, there were some unpaid debts that are holding the film in a state of limbo. There is currently litigation underway, but it appears there is no urgency (on the part of Warner Bros.) to settle up on this inherited debt. I am trying to locate some contact info for someone we can muscle at Warner. Will keep you posted.

-- Mark Cassello (mjcassel@iun.edu), January 07, 2005.

Hey everybody! Just to let you know, I have started up a new Kenneth Branagh website exclusively for this issue. Check it out at: http://www.kenbranagh.com Together we can use our might to pressure the studio into releasing this DVD. Check out my website for more details about what is going on.

-- Mark Cassello (mjcassel@iun.edu), January 12, 2005.

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