Friday, September 26, 2008

"The rest . . . is . . . Silen[t Hamlet]."

Hamlet: The Drama of Vengeance [Hamlet: Ein Rachedrama]. Dir. Svend Gade. Perf. Asta Neilsen. 1920. Videocassette. Sunland Video, n.d.
A forthcoming post will provide much more about this film—I'm adding English translations of the German title cards to a section of this film, and it's a time-consuming process . . . and it's not that I have a lot of time to consume right now, either!

This silent, German film version of Hamlet starts at the birth of the young prince. Actually, to be more accurate, it starts at the birth of the young princess! In this production, Hamlet is not only played by a woman, he is a woman. For reasons of state, the announcement of Hamlet's birth declares her to be a boy: the male heir to the throne.

Naturally, I'll have more to say later. Consider this a teaser for future posts.
Links: The Film at IMDB. N.B.: IMDB lists the date as 1921, but all the scholarly sources I checked—Rothwell, Sammons, et cetera—list 1920 as the date.

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Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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