WATCH - Olivier's Shakespeare

The Criterion Collection

by Bill Gibron

28 November 2006

 

Olivier’s Shakespeare: The Criterion Collection [Criterion - $79.99]

Though his versions of the Bard’s classics may no longer be definitive (a certain Mr. Branagh could challenge his claim to such a statement) Laurence Olivier was definitely instrumental in bringing Shakespeare’s plays to a wider mainstream audience. Included here are his Oscar winning turns as Hamlet (1948), along with his nominated work in Henry V (1944) and Richard III (1955). Each film represents a different dynamic in aesthetic approach, as well as illustrating the motion picture’s malleability toward material. As with all titles bearing the Criterion tag, the prints are perfect (especially Richard’s sumptuous Technicolor gloss) and the supplemental material divine. [Amazon]

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