At 155 minutes, this screen adaptation of Shakespeare's most celebrated play bears scars from deep cuts in the text. Hamlet swears to his father's ghost that he will wreak revenge for the man's murder by taking the life of Claudius, who is now married to Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. By
cutting the text, Olivier has fashioned a tighter, albeit abridged, version of the famed play. One of its flaws is that, in directing, Olivier should have concentrated more on performances; he had apparently fallen in love with the camera and employed many visual tricks instead of sticking to the
lines. However, Olivier always felt that each different Hamlet is an essay, subject to the...