He is arguably the greatest actor of the 20th century, and undoubtedly the greatest interpreter of Shakespeare in the 20th century.
I watched the film over a dozen times for that college course. It is a fantastic film, and very engrossing. It had a great effect on me, and I have enjoyed watching it over the years.
Every time I watched it I tried to find answers to the play within the film, and the dialogue. I thought if I studied it closely enough that I would discover some great deeper insight into the play, and figure out what it all really meant.
I can only imagine what kind of impact it had when it was first released. Not only did Olivier direct the film, he played the part of Hamlet, but he won the Oscar for Best Actor and the Best Picture Academy Award!
While Olivier may not have personally believed in Freud, he no doubt found Freud very useful in breathing new life into Shakespeare.
Many years later, long after I graduated from college, I began my own work adapting Shakespeare, and I went back to look at Olivier’s Hamlet.
I am very thankful that Olivier's work made me fall in love with Shakespeare in the first place.
I hope you join me today in celebrating the memory of Sir Laurence Olivier -- and his remarkable contribution to the history of Shakespeare!
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