This version of Hamlet, shot in 1969 and directed by Tony Richardson, was realized with a small budget, so the setting is really basic. The melancholy atmosphere seems to be made for a theatre and it isn't the ordinary setting for a movie. Richardson has photographed his film against total blackness except for a few dark brick walls and passage-ways to represent the battlements.
Hamlet . . . . . Nicol Williamson
Horatio . . . . . Gordon Jackson
Claudius . . . . . Anthony Hopkins
Gertrude . . . . . Judy Parfitt
Polonius . . . . . Mark Dignam
Laertes . . . . . Michael Pennington
Ophelia . . . . . Marianne Faithfull
Rosencrantz . . . . . Ben Aris
Guildenstern . . . . . Clive Graham
Even if Nicol Williamson is a good actor, he is too old for playing the role of Hamlet, especially considering that Judy Parfitt, who performs Gertrude, his mother, seems to be his same age. To simulate Hamlet's madness he interchanges moments in which he talks very fast with other ones in which he talks really slowly. Marianne Faithful plays his role very well and represents the fragility of her character, who loses her mind due to the misogeny of Hamlet and her father Polonius, which will bring her to a terrible suicide. Another important character, Claudius, is acted by Anthony Hopkins, who shows a corrupted man with no morality. However he never admits his crime and the spectator never knows if it is just Hamlet's insanity or Claudius really murdered the king.