The GREATEST Screen Version Of William Shakespeare's Tragedy.
Of course, most people have their own favourite film versions of "Hamlet," William Shakespeare's classic tragedy about love, murder, revenge and family loyalty, that was first performed at the Globe Theater in 1603. Classic tragedy, right up there with "Romeo & Juliet," "Richard III," "Othello,"
"Julius Caesar," "Macbeth" and "King Lear." Personally, Kenneth Branagh's 4 hour version of the play is the greatest, next to Sir Laurence Olivier's 2/1/2 hour film version, produced in 1948. The all-star cast is terrific (featuring Academy Award winners Julie Christie, Charlton Heston, Sir John Gielgud, Jack Lemmon, Richard Attenborough and Robin Williams, among others; Gielgud, Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh have each played Hamlet over 300 times on stage). The costumes (as per the opulent 19th-century setting) and sets are visually lush. There is nothing bad about this production. It's clear that Branagh spared no expense to make this movie. At $18 million, it was worth every penny.
As far as letting children see this film, I would highly recommend it for ages 10 and above, due to the mature subject matter (death, lost love, revenge, etc), the archaic English, some non-explicit, but suggesstive, love scenes between Ophelia (Kate Winslet) and Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh) and the 4 hour running time.
The film has recieved a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for violent images and some sexuality, but I rate it PG for some violence.