Franco Zeffirelli (1990)

U Certificate


Our Score
After mixed reviews for his 1968 Romeo and Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli waited over 20 years - not counting his 1986 version of Verdi's opera Otello - before tackling the Bard again. Closer in spirit to Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet than Kenneth Branagh's meticulously faithful Hamlet, this is a surprisingly vigorous rendition of a play essentially about indecision and hesitancy. Mel Gibson is the screen's most muscular Prince of Denmark, but he gives a good account of himself, as does Helena Bonham Carter as the abused Ophelia. Yet it's Alan Bates who most impresses as the villainous Claudius. Not one for the purists, but a laudable attempt to introduce Shakespeare to the blockbuster generation.


A tormented Danish prince seeks revenge on his villainous uncle, who has killed his father, married his mother and usurped the throne. Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, starring Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm and Helena Bonham Carter. With music by Ennio Morricone.

Cast & Crew

Hamlet Mel Gibson
Queen Gertrude Glenn Close
Claudius Alan Bates
Ghost Paul Scofield
Polonius Ian Holm
Ophelia Helena Bonham Carter
Horatio Stephen Dillane
Laertes Nathaniel Parker
Guildenstern Sean Murray (1)
Rosencrantz Michael Maloney
Gravedigger Trevor Peacock
Osric John McEnery
Director Franco Zeffirelli
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Contains nudity.Available on: video and DVD