William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (1996 / A Kenneth Branagh Film) Debuts On Blu-Ray™ Disc August 17 From Warner Home Video

(April 19, 2010 – Burbank, CA) – The critically acclaimed, award-winning and unabridged version of William Shakespeare’s most popular play makes its highly anticipated debut on stunning Blu-ray™ Disc, August 17, 2010. Presented by Warner Home Video, Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” (1996) is the ambitious, noble and stylized theatrical version of the famous play brought to life like audiences have never seen before. The brilliantly colorful and illuminated film is a groundbreaking cinematic achievement, presented with a collectible book containing director and actor biographies, film trivia and more (SRP $34.99). Adapted and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the title role as Prince Hamlet, the film boasts a star-studded ensemble cast featuring Oscar® winners Kate Winslet (“The Reader,” “Little Children,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Titanic”), Robin Williams (“Good Will Hunting,” “The Fisher King,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam”), Judi Dench (“Notes on a Scandal,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Iris,” “Chocolat,” “Shakespeare in Love”), and many more. In a filmmaking career that has spanned three decades, there is no greater example of Branagh’s unequaled Shakespearean vision than his film rendition of “Hamlet” (1996). Nominated for four Oscars®, Branagh’s “Hamlet” represents the first time that the full, uncut Shakespearean text had been recorded on screen. Filmed as an epic, the movie adaptation is recast in a sumptuous 19th century castle – and now the action, the madness, the melancholy, the revenge, the love – are all captured for the first time on gorgeous Blu-ray Disc. The film will also be available for permanent download through online distributors. “Hamlet” was the last feature film to date shot using a 65mm negative for 70mm projection. Less than 50 English language features were shot this way, including “Ben-Hur,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Sound of Music” - all Best Picture Oscar® winners. Branagh wanted his “Hamlet” to have the same epic quality as those films, and the majestic visual quality he achieved truly reveals Blu-ray's outstanding technical superiority. ABOUT THE FILM “‘Hamlet’ has the kind of power, energy and excitement that movies can truly exploit,” award-winning actor/director Kenneth Branagh says. In this first-ever full-text film of William Shakespeare’s greatest work, the power surges through every scene. The timeless tale of murder, corruption and revenge is reset in an opulent 19th-century world, using sprawling Blenheim Palace as Elsinore and staging much of the action in shimmering mirrored and gold-filled interiors. The energy is electrifying, due to a luminous cast. The excitement of the Bard’s words and an adventurous filmmaking style lift the story from its often shadowy ambience to fully-lit pageantry and rage. Cast Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet)
Kate Winslet (Ophelia)
Robin Williams (Oscric)
Judi Dench (Hecuba)
Billy Crystal (First Gravedigger)
Julie Christie (Gertrude)
Gerard Depardieu (Reynaldo)
Jack Lemmon (Marcellus) Director, Actor and Screenwriter Kenneth Branagh (“Valkyrie,” “Frankenstein,” “As You Like It”) Special Features 1. Commentary with Kenneth Branagh and Russell Jackson
2. Introduction by Kenneth Branagh
3. “To Be On Camera: A History with Hamlet”
4. 1996 Vintage Cannes Film Festival Promo
5. “Hamlet” (1996) Trailer Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change. Warner Home Video Blu-ray™ Discs offer resolution six times higher than standard definition DVDs, as well as extraordinarily vibrant contrast and color and beautifully crisp sound. The format also provides a higher level of interactivity, with instant access to extra features via a seamless menu bar where viewers can enjoy features without leaving or interrupting the film. For more information: About Warner Home Video With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, a division of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.
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