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DVD Pick: Hamlet (1996)

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Additional DVD Bonus Materials

The audio commentary is the best extra on the DVD set, but some of the others aren't bad. If you skip the audio commentary, you'll probably find it worthwhile to watch Branagh's introduction, which runs a little under eight minutes. In it, he summarizes the big ideas behind his version of Hamlet.

The 24-minute bonus material "To Be on Camera: A History With Hamlet" is a reasonably entertaining making-of documentary.

There's an announcer man who tells us things like "John Gielgud makes a guest appearance at age 93." But mostly, you get to hear from the actors out of character. For example, comics Robin Williams and Billy Crystal imagine what might happen if Shakespeare tried to pitch his screenplay to Hollywood. And you get to meet Branagh's acting double, the actor who played Hamlet while Branagh set up shots and directed rehearsals.

It's fun that the DVD contains seven trailers for screen adaptations of five of Shakespeare's plays. There are two versions of Hamlet, two versions of Othello, and one each of Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Finally, the 12-minute "Cannes Film Festival Promo" is basically just a long trailer.

DVD Details

Below I have listed all the details for the two-disc DVD set containing Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film Hamlet.

Release Date: August 14, 2007
Number of Discs: 2
Feature Film Run Time: 4 hours 2 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Some Violent Images and Sexuality
Widescreen (2.20:1), Color
English 5.1 Dolby Digital
English Captions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Spanish Subtitles
French Subtitles
Audio Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare Scholar
Video Intro by Director/Star Kenneth Branagh (8 min.)
Making-Of Documentary (24 min.)
Cannes Film Festival Promo (12 min.)
Theatrical Trailers for 7 Shakespeare Movies

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