Laurence Oliviers Hamlet Film

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Introduction: This award-winning film, the first in which the leading actor, Laurence Olivier, directed himself to Oscar success, was considered a cinematic masterpiece in its interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. In order to examine critical response in 1948, contemporary 21st century critical reaction, and academic views, a thorough search of the Internet was conducted, on the assumption that archived material would be easily accessed…

Introduction


Discussion: In a chronological approach to the assessment, reviews from 1948 will first be examined. In his New York Times reviews, in September 1948, Bosley Crowther was almost lyrical in his praise. As mentioned earlier, he cited the power of the camera use, as it
With regard to the cuts, which included some soliloquies and the characters, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Fortinbras, Crowther is dismissive, considering cutting these to be "judicious editing" that "has given much greater clarity to its noted complexities" (1948). It appeared that this reviewer glossed over the Freudian, Oedipal context that many others identified, stating that
Although the piece in Variety magazine was less intellectual in content and approach, it did touch on similar thematic aspects. The article, produced by Variety Staff, was completely positive and celebrated everything about the film. The cuts were dismissed as:
Again, the review did not linger on the Oedipal content, emphasizing the concept, taken from the opening voice-ove ...
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