Hamlet Comparisons

I have started comparing various versions of Hamlet as I watch them, grading the various characters and the overall production.  I have these tagged as "Hamlet Comparisons," but I thought it would be fun to put them all on one page too, just to see at a glance how I like things.  I think I'll arrange them in order of production date.  And I'm leaving off Murder Most Foul since it doesn't actually exist, alas.

Click on the dates to read my full reviews.

1969 -- Nicol Williamson, Anthony Hopkins

Hamlet:  C-
Horatio:  B-
Laertes:  D
Ophelia:  A
Claudius:  B+
Gertrude:  C-
Polonius:  C
Overall Production:  C-

2004 -- Simon Keenlyside

Hamlet:  A
Horatio:  N/A
Laertes:  F for making me Furious (B+ for everything except the ending)
Ophelia:  B+
Claudius:  C
Gertrude:  C
Polonius:  N/A
Overall Production:  N/A because it has so many differences.

2015 -- Benedict Cumberbatch
Hamlet: A+
Horatio: D
Laertes: C
Ophelia: A
Claudius: B+
Gertrude: B-
Polonius: B
Overall Production: B+


  1. How about the Kenneth Branagh version, and the David Tennant version? :)

    1. I'll get there eventually! I've seen um... fourteen different productions? But I want to rewatch them before writing up a review, so I'm just adding to this gradually, as I watch a version and review it. I do like both Branagh's and Tennant's enough to own copies, so I'll get to them at some point!

  2. "Laertes is a fool! He ain't never stopped to think about what type of person Hamlet was. All he does is do what the king tells him to do. When he fights Hamlet, all they do is end up killing each other. That's his problem. He don't stop and think before he acts."

    Thank you, Tommy Lee Haywood.

    1. Quiggy, this is sadly true. But I'm a Laertes fan anyway. Reckless and impetuous characters do draw me fairly often.

    2. Still leaving me curious whether you know what movie I'm quoting, but thanks for responding. :-)

  3. It came from "Renaissance Man", a Danny DeVito film and featuring the first film appearance of Mark Wahlberg, whose Tommy Lee Haywood character utters those lines.

    1. Ahhhh! Well, no wonder I didn't recognize it, as I haven't seen that :-)

  4. Don't forget a modern version of Hamlet (and a hair-brained comedy): Strange Brew. I really would like to know your thoughts on that one.

    1. Stanley, I very much feel as if I saw that back in college! I looked it up on imdb, and it has that vaguely familiar "watched it at 2am fifteen years ago" vibe for me.

      I've seen more than a dozen other Hamlet versions besides what are on this page, but I haven't reviewed them using this system yet. Slowly I'm going back through my collection, and viewing new ones!

  5. What!? There is a Benedict Cumberbatch version of Hamlet!!??? I am off to read the review.

    1. MC, yes, he played Hamlet on stage a couple years ago. They filmed it to show in theaters, but as far as I know, it's not available on DVD :-(


Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)