Director and star Kenneth Branagh brings another powerful Shakespearean interpretation to the screen. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, vows revenge when informed by the ghost of his murdered father that the present king Claudius was responsible. Spurning the romantic advances of his sweetheart Ophelia, Hamlet attempts to open the eyes of his mother Gertrude, whom Claudius has now wed. Hamlet is soon compelled to act, however, following a series of bloody and mysterious deaths.
CAST & CREW
Director of Photography
Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, Billy Crystal, Rufus Sewell, Gérard Depardieu, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams
At age nine Branagh moved with his family from Northern Ireland to London. He began acting in school plays and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1981. Six weeks later he made his professional stage debut. In 1984 he joined the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), where he received acclaim for his performances in Hamlet and Henry V. Often compared to Laurence Olivier (whom he would later portray), Branagh was noted for his magnetic and often whimsical performances. In 1987, he left the RSC to cofound the Renaissance Theatre Company, for which he served as actor, writer, and director. In 1989, Branagh brought Henry V to the screen. The movie received critical acclaim, and Branagh was nominated for Academy Awards as best director and best actor. His costar in the movie, Emma Thompson, was an actress he had met while filming a television series. They were married from 1989 to 1995 and appeared together in many film and stage productions. Branagh’s later film roles included supporting turns in Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), a film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s book. His appearance as Olivier in My Week with Marilyn (2011), which dramatized events behind the scenes of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl, earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. During this time Branagh continued to direct, and his credits include Sleuth (2007), a remake of the 1972 film about a mystery author who gets revenge on his wife’s younger lover, and Thor (2011), an adaptation of a comic book about the eponymous Norse god. In 2014, he helmed the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), in which he also appeared as a vicious Russian banker. Branagh then directed Cinderella (2015), an adaptation of the classic fairy tale.
Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Swan Song (1992, short,), Peter's Friends (1992), Much Ado about Nothing (1993), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), A Midwinter's Tale (1995), Hamlet (1996), Love's Labour's Lost (2000), Listening (Short, 2003), As You Like It (2006), The Magic Flute (2006), Sleuth (2007), Thor (2011), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Cinderella (2015).