Comparing Derek Jacobi's BBC Hamlet with Branagh's Hamlet : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

Overall comparison of these two films, why they were produced the way they were, costuming, set location, and reason for production. Also a comparison for the end fight scene for these two films.

-- Ashlie Conway (, April 22, 2004


What are your thoughts about this so far?

-- catherine england (, April 22, 2004.

I have seen many productions of Hamlet over the years, and although I believe that Olivier was a god and am a rabid Branagh fan, I believe no one, and I mean NO ONE, can touch Derek Jakobi's BBC performance. That was an absolutely stellar and spiritually manifested effort. I would love to own that video. Would anyone out there know how to acquire one ???

vini demon


-- vini demon (, April 22, 2004.

I agree. The continuity and unity of the performance are just wonderful as well. The only place I have ever been able to find it is at a few local libraries I have belonged to - in Australia.

-- catherine england (, April 23, 2004.

Fuck, I got mine from eBay!! You can get the Jacobi Hamlet on eBay all the time!! It is never not there! You can get all the other BBC Shakespeare titles available on eBay, too. The double Othello video set with Anthony Hopkins playing the Moor is a great own. That was another great performance. But, aye, I agree that Jacobi is the greatest Hamlet I have seen on screen. It's wonderful. I wish I could have seen that in the theatre in its time. I am going to see Trevor Nunn's new production of the play next week at the Old Vic theatre.

-- Patrick Walker (, April 23, 2004.

I own both videos and find great thjings in both. However, I feel very strongly that the Jacobi version is the best I have ever seen. The reasons are many. To begin with, I think Jacobi provides a much greater emotional range to the character and I think in that range we find elements of humor and depression that no one else has ever found. For instance, after the Ghost of his father leaves and Hamlet (Jacobi) falls to the ground and writhes in pain, demonstrates , for me, the depth of the mourning and depression of the character. The nunnary scene also reveals another important element.....his closeness to insanity.. which Jacobi does an excellent job of demonstrating. The scenes with R. & G. as well as with Polonius show clearly the wit and humor within the character. Another thing that contributes to the success of this production is the very simple staging. Because of that , the characters and the actors count very heavily. We as audiece members concentrate on the actors and are not distracted by the set. Branagh's version , on the otherhand is so gaudy that I am often times looking at the beauty of Blenham Palace and not seeing the play. That is not to say that Branagh's version is without merit. Kate Winslet is a far better Ophelia and the use of the one way mirrors in the nunnery scene was brilliant. I also feel very strongly that Branagh showed a lot of courage in doing the whole play. Considering that most of todays audieces are trained by t.v. programing , four hours and fifteen minutes of a movie is a real gutsie move. For me the weekest part of the Branagh film is the sword fight. It goes too far beyond reality. Especially in the throwing of the sword. I laughed at it. Nor did I like the entrance of Fortinbras. It is a great stretch of the text and distracts again from the play. Thanks for letting me contribute. I would wel

-- Bob MacClennan (, December 05, 2004.

I felt tha tthe beauty of the palace was a nice touch. Seeing a movie that take the time with the ancillary effects shows devotion to the movie. It has a more full bodied effect. As for the 4 hour bit, I am disgusted with film makers thinking that the average audience has an attention span no further than 1-1.5 hours long. What happened do days when people made movies like Ben Hur.

-- rystoryan (, December 13, 2004.

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