SKU 5715

HAMLET (The Transgender Prince?) (1921) * with switchable English and Spanish subtitles *

Svend Gade, Heinz Schall Writers: Erwin Gepard (manuscript), E. Vining (book) (as Professor Vining) Stars: Asta Nielsen, Paul Conradi, Mathilde Brandt

Old King Hamlet must have a son to be heir to his throne. After he goes off to war, his wife gives birth to a daughter. Knowing the king will be terribly disappointed, the queen decides to disguise the girl as a boy. Many years later, Hamlet, still pretending to be a young man, goes to university at Wittenberg where she falls in love with Horatio. Meanwhile, back at Elsinore, the Queen is actively plotting with Claudius to kill King Hamlet. Horatio returns to Elsinore for the king's funeral with Hamlet and falls in love with Ophelia. Hamlet courts Ophelia in order to keep Horatio for herself. Hamlet discovers her father's murderer; accidentally kills Polonius; is sent off with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; is intercepted by her friend from university, Fortinbras of Norway, who obligingly does away with R & G for her. When she returns to Elsinore, she finds Claudius drunk and kills him. The queen then plots with Laertes to kill Hamlet. The queen accidentally drinks the poisoned wine. Hamlet is cut with the poisoned sword. Horatio, embracing Hamlet in death, discovers what no one else had known before: that there was more to Hamlet than meets the eye.

Apparently, the classic tale of a dysfunctional family, long considered one step above poo by some of the world's greatest poets and writers, needed a contemporary, "scientific" explanation for Hamlet's affected behavior. Asta Nielsen backed and starred in this version of the saga based on the interpretation of "literary scholar" Professor Dining, an American, who decided the reason behind Hamlet's bizarre behavior must've been because the prince was actually a princess! Thus, the tormented Hamlet parades around, dressed as a man, but lusts like a woman, and suffers because her/his equally screwed-up family feels the best way to get things in life is to plot, poison and condemn one's own child to permanent abstinence. And they needed to explain Hamlet's behavior ... uh huh.

Asta Nielsen im großen Drama um Mord, Rache, Liebe, Freundschaft – und Geschlechteridentität. Für den ersten Film ihrer eigenen Produktionsfirma wählte die Schauspielerin eine Interpretation der Hamlet-Geschichte, die besagt, dass der dänische Prinz eine Frau war – und übernahm selbst die Titelrolle: Um den Thron zu sichern, gibt die dänische Königin ihre Tochter als männlichen Thronfolger aus, und so wächst das Mädchen als Knabe heran. Da ermordet der böse Oheim den König und besteigt selbst den Thron. Prinz Hamlet sinnt auf Rache, gibt vor, dem Wahnsinn verfallen zu sein und nutzt die Ankunft einer Schauspielertruppe, dem Onkel sein Verbrechen vor Augen zu führen. Der gibt daraufhin den Befehl, Hamlet den Kopf abschlagen zu lassen... Mehr als achtzig Jahre nach der Uraufführung feierte der Film im Februar 2007 in einer aufwändig restaurierten viragierten Fassung erneut Premiere.

DVD-r has German intertitles with switchable English and Spanish subtitles. Approx. 111 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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