Director: Laurence Olivier
Year Released: 1948
Rating: 3.0

Sir Larry's adaptation of what might be The Bard's greatest work once again has the Melancholy Dane (Olivier himself) out for revenge against his Uncle Claudius (Basil Sydney) for killing his Father (who appears to him in ghostly form) and marrying his Mother Gertrude (Eileen Herlie) - in case you've never read the play (or seen it performed), it ends badly for everyone.  I'll leave it up to Shakespearean scholars to decide whether or not the choices and decisions made by the director are "proper" or not - like removing side characters, converting soliloquys to voice over and emphasizing the Oedipal component of the narrative - but I must say I found it both bleak and engaging: the words roll off Olivier's tongue so naturally, and even though his camera sometimes has a mind of its own, at least the lighting and sets are appealing.  It bears mentioning that Jean Simmons is an outstanding Ophelia: she may get lost in the man-drama, but her breakdown into madness is palpable (she lost the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Claire Trevor in Key Largo).