Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spaghetti Shakespeare: Contemporary Review of Johnny Hamlet

"Johnny Hamlet." Review of Johnny Hamlet, dir. Enzo G. Castellari. Variety 10 May 1972: 20+.

As thrilled as I am by the prospect of a Spaghetti Western that retells the story of Hamlet in one way or another (for which, q.v.), not everyone shares my enthusiasm.

Witness the nearly-contemporary review of the film from a 1972 Variety (the film was reeled in 1968):
. . . this "Hamlet" effot is so inept in concept and playing that it is more likely to grow old on the bottom half of an action doublebill. (20)
The review continues . . .
Corman [who plays Johnny Hamlet], with a makeup job that makes him look more like a Q-T suntan ad than a cowboy, is dreadful but Roland [as Horace, the Horatio analogue,] almost makes his ridiculous role dignified. The rest of the cast has been sliced off the same prosciutto as Corman. (34)
I gather than you can't please all the critics all the time. If you'd like to read more of the review, click on the image below to enlarge it—and then take it all with a few grains of finest Italian sea salt.


Links: The Film at IMDB.


Click below to purchase the film from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).



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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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