Richard Burton's Hamlet was an excellent interpretation of this lead title role shown on a unique "Electronovision" black and white video 'big screen' at certain theaters.   It was the brainstorm of  H. William "Bill" Sargent, Jr., who died in 2003,  and this was his first use of this video taped presentation. He followed it in 1966 with Stop the World, I Want to Get Off  and Give 'em Hell, Harry, with James Whitmore portrayng Harry S. Truman, in 1975. This 1964 presentation of William Shakespeare's masterpiece directed by John Gilgud, was shot with actors in plain modern clothes working on a chiaroscaro lit nearly empty stage. It was filmed as if during rehearsal, and in front of a live audience at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Burton's voice boomed and growled and whined like no other Shakespearean actor before him. He stretched out his words in the soloquies so deliberate, and so powerful, he made it come to life, even without the usual costumes and props.



Hamlet --     Richard Burton

Polonius  --   Hume Cronyn

Claudius  -- Alfred Drake


Gertrude --  Eileen Herlie  

Guildenstern  -- William Redfield

First Gravedigger -- George Rose

Player King --  George Voskovec  


Rest of cast  alphabetically:

Cornelius / Second Gravedigger / English Ambassador -- Hugh Alexander  

Voltimand  -- Philip Coolidge  

Player Queen  -- Christopher Culkin

Laertes -- John Cullum

Francisco / Fortinbras  -- Michael Ebert

Reynaldo / Osric / Fortinbras's Captain  -- Dillon Evans

Rosencrantz -- Clement Fowler  

Lucianus --  Geoff Garland  

Ghost (voice)  -- John Gielgud  

Player Prologue  -- John Hetherington  

Marcellus / Priest -- Barnard Hughes  

Ophelia -- Linda Marsh  

Horatio -- Robert Milli

Bernardo -- Frederick Young

Lady (uncredited) -- Kate Beswick

Messenger (uncredited) -- Alex Giannini  

Lord (uncredited )-- Claude Harz

Attendant (uncredited) -- Gerome Ragni  

Gentleman (uncredited) -- Richard Sterne

Lady (uncredited) -- Carol Teitel



Stage production  -- Alexander H. Cohen  

Producer -- Alfred W. Crown  

Producer -- John Heyman

executive producer  -- William Sargent Jr.  




Bill Colleran


Film Editing:

Bruce B. Pierce


Production Design:

Ben Edwards


Costume Design:

Jane Greenwood


Sound Department

sound editor -- James Fritch


Camera and Electrical Department

gaffer  -- Nobby Cross

lighting designer (stage production)  -- Jean Rosenthal  


Other crew

presenter --  Alexander H. Cohen

stage director -- John Gielgud


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