The Criterion Collection is continuing its mining of the wonderfully rich Janus film catalog with the recent release of Lawrence Olivier’s 1948 Hamlet on DVD. In terms of extras, this release is rather skimpy. Per the box, it has a "beautiful digital transfer with restored image and sound . . . English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired . . ." and "optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition." As disappointing as this will be to those who’ve come to expect plenty of supplementals on their DVDs -- audio commentaries, interviews, photo galleries, etc. -- there’s ample compensation in the film itself. Olivier’s Hamlet has always enjoyed a reputation as the best of the cinema adaptations of Shakespeare’s seminal play, and the present pristine version does nothing to detract from that reputation.
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