Before Kenneth Branagh, before Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier gave the definitive portrayal of "the man who could not make up his mind." In 15th-century Denmark, young Prince Hamlet is racked by torment and indecision after seeing a vision of his deceased father. The late king's ghost informs his son Hamlet that Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, was responsible for murdering the king. When the murderer married Hamlet's mother--the king's widow--scarcely two months after his funeral, he also took the throne that was his brother's. The ghost beseeches Hamlet to avenge him--yet Hamlet procrastinates, unsure of how best to accomplish his task. In what was only his second directorial effort, Olivier uses his misty, moody set and long tracking camera shots to complement his indecisive prince tortured by the murder of his father. Olivier's version of the Shakespeare tragedy eliminates the characters of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Fortinbras.
Academy Awards Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (b&w) 1948
Academy Awards Best Costume Design (b&w) 1948
Academy Awards Best Picture 1948
Academy Awards Best Actor 1948 Laurence Olivier Actor/Director/Producer, HAMLET (1948)
Academy Awards Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (b&w) 1948 Carmen Dillon British Art Director