Mystery Science Theater 3000: HAMLET
April 11, 2018 11:00 PM - Season 10, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Something's rotten in Denmark. Prince Hamlet finds out his dad the king is suddenly dead, and his uncle Claudius has just as suddenly married his mum and taken the throne. Sound suspecious? So thinks Hamlet's dad's ghost, who tells him it was murder and demands revenge. But Hamlet's indecisive, so he pretends to be cray-cray so he can gather clues without alerting Claudius. While so detecting, Hamlet kills a series of people with varying degrees of intent, and holds a skull a bit. He gets revenge, but dies too. I'm going to level with you. This episode is commonly regarded as one of the less accessible ones. It's another case where the movie drags everything down. This is a low budget, black-and-white, 1961 made-for-TV German production of Hamlet, with over half the content cut for time, dubbed into English. It's a bit entertaining that a couple of the dubbers are, it turns out, Ricardo "Khaaaan!" Montalban and John "Sgt. Schultz" Banner themselves, but it's still a dry episode. It's all downhill from here! Episode 1009 is available on YouTube. Premiered June 27, 1999. Four episodes left.

Episode 1009 HAMLET

Satellite News - Mighty Jack's Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - TVTropes Note: Search TVTropes for "Hamlet" and you'll find lots of stuff.

Kevin Murphy's reflections from this entry in the ACEG:
We very much looked forward to doing this movie. It seems easy to do Shakespeare badly, as this thing proves. And then we found ourselves with the task to cut this three-hour-plus production down to our required time of a little more than eighty minutes. Although we found some relief in the fact that his play is astoundingly overwritten, it did give me pause to think that we could be making a bad production worse by chopping it. This turned out to be untrue. Bottom line is, not even that lipless yet talented Kenneth Branaugh was able to get it right. But I did feel this sense of import, as if we should do sketches and jokes that were somehow more intelligent, more up to the raw material which is Shakespearean verse at its best, full of hidden meanings and outright puns and dirty jokes and strikingly compact metaphors and sheer marvels of language. However my colleagues calmed me down and came to remind me that we can't really break the play, can't even hurt it. The Germans already tried and yet I still love the thing, long and wordy as it is. So go ahead and try your own clown makeup version of Hamlet. It'll be around long after you croak. Not the clown makeup, the play.
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Viewers 0%! -- made for TV, this movie has *no* cover) - Wikipedia
IMDB (1960, 2.4 stars)
"Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle."
Directed by Franz Peter Wirth. Written by Franz Peter Wirth adapting William Shakespeare. Starring Maximillian Schell, Hans Caninenberg and Wanda Rotha.
posted by JHarris (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Shake Speare Blue!

I actually like this one, though I agree it drags. I wonder if this might be an entry into Shakepeare for bored high school students.

Why were you looking at his like?
posted by wittgenstein at 5:25 AM on April 12, 2018

I think this one is kind of fun, myself. I appreciate that they stretched themselves.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:08 AM on April 12, 2018

I've got a college professor friend who I've been trying to get to watch an episode of MST for a long while but she has always resisted. She teaches Shakespeare, so I tried suggesting this episode as an introduction... but now, yeah, that'd be a bad move for a first episode, I think. Not only is it not a great presentation, but they cut over half the play, though I think they hit the most important beats.

Might as well do the watch announcement, ahem:

Tonight (Thursday), it's MST Club! A bunch of us get together and watch two episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, one at 7 PM Eastern time (4 PM Pacific) and that week's Fanfare post episode at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific). Shows are currently held at
posted by JHarris at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2018

Reminding everyone, we have a poll open for episodes to put into rotation when MST Club goes into encore mode after we finish the tour. Vote for the episodes you like best here!
posted by JHarris at 2:35 AM on April 15, 2018

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