Sunday, February 13, 2005

Even headed review of Olivier's film

In cutting this immensely long play to a running time of just over two and a half hours, Olivier and his screenplay collaborator, Alan Dent, eliminated some fairly prominent characters (notably Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Fortinbras) and even sacrificed a couple of Hamlet’s most famous soliloquies ('O what a rogue and peasant slave am I' and 'How all occasions do inform against me'), and thus made themselves vulnerable to charges of butchering the Bard. (Olivier, in answer to such criticisms, took to characterizing his film as merely 'a study in Hamlet.')

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