Monday, March 16, 2009

Shakespeare In Time : Gielgud as Hamlet

I find stuff like this interesting for its place in history.  Anybody my age knows Sir John Gielgud as…well, ancient.  My first memory of him is the butler in Arthur, 1981, when he would have been 77.

So it’s a rare treat indeed to find such a clip as Bardfilm has uncovered, showing a 1944 Gielgud performing Hamlet. I’m particularly intrigued by the delivery, a pretty straightforward “Hold skull up and deliver lines” recitation.  I went looking for an example of how the interpretation has become a bit more animated over the years, and surprisingly when I turned to Brannagh I found this, which while perhaps a little heavier on the “acting” and less on the “recitation”, is still the exact same “hold skull up and deliver lines” recitation from 60 years ago.


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