New Release: Hamlet Blu-ray

Hamlet movie scene with Rufus SewellKenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, perhaps one of Shakespeare’s most wanted plays directed by one of today’s best Shakespearean directors, made its Blu-ray debut on Aug. 17, 2010.

The critically acclaimed film, which was nominated for four Oscars and won other awards when it was released back in 1996, stars Branagh as Hamlet and Kate Winslet, Robin Williams and Judi Dench. But it also features in smaller roles Billy Crystal, Gerard Depardieu, Julie Christie, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, Timothy Spall and Rufus Sewell.

Branagh’s lusciously stylized Hamlet is the first time the play has been filmed with its full original text.

According to Warner Home Video, the drama was the last feature movie to date shot using a 65mm negative for 70mm projection, the same way Oscar-winning epics Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and My Fair Lady were shot.

Hamlet Blu-ray packageThe August release was timed to the Shakespeare in the Park summer session in New York City’s Central Park.

Priced at $34.99, the Blu-ray contains the same special features as the two-DVD version issued in August 2007:

  • commentary with Branagah and text consultant Russell Jackson;
  • introduction by Branagh;
  • featurette “To Be On Camera: A History With Hamlet;”
  • footage from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival promo;
  • trailer.

The Blu-ray also is packaged with a book including director and actor biographies and film trivia.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.