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Critic's Pick

'Hamlet'

January 04, 1998|Kevin Thomas

With his handsome and compelling 1996 "Hamlet," Kenneth Branagh (pictured) brings the Bard's greatest tragedy passionately alive on the screen. Branagh's use of the full text provides a richer context for the tragedy that is set in motion when Gertrude (Julie Christie), the queen of Denmark, and her husband's brother Claudius (Derek Jacobi) become lovers and poison the king. When Hamlet (Branagh), the king's son, hears reports that the ghost of his father has appeared to palace guards, naming his killers, he vows revenge (Showtime Sunday at 11:30 a.m.).

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