Sunday, November 30, 2014

SHAKESPEARE REFERENCES IN FILMS: Hamlet

For the last few years, I've been compiling lists of Shakespeare references, mainly in films, but also in television programs (and in books and so on), with the idea of creating a giant reference book. It will contain in-depth reviews of all Shakespeare film adaptations, and lists of references in film to each play. My argument is that you really can't consider yourself a film buff without reading Shakespeare's works, for the plays and sonnets are so often referred to and used in films that without knowledge of them, you'd be missing a whole lot from the films you enjoy. If nothing else, any self-proclaimed film buff must read Romeo And Juliet and Hamlet.

Here is a list of just a few of the films with references to The Tragedy Of Hamlet:

- 6 To 9  (2005) with Lance Vance, Tylene Buck, Felicia Tang; written and directed by Jim Monroe. This soft-core porn has a reference to Hamlet. There is voice over narration at the beginning, describing the character Harry Ballcock: “The only problem is Harry’s built his empire by lying, cheating, degrading and harassing the very people who’ve helped him achieve this success. But, like they say, every dog has his day. Eventually.” Whether the filmmakers knew it or not, it is a reference to Hamlet’s line in Act V: “The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.”
- The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T  (1953)  with Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried and Tommy Rettig; directed by Roy Rowland. This strange children's movie about a boy who doesn't want to learn the piano has a wonderful reference to Hamlet. When Dr. T picks up the severed ends of the beards, he says, "Alas, poor Judson.  Alas, poor Whitney. I knew them.  Fellows of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."  Compare to lines 169 to 171 of Act V Scene i: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."  Also, Dr. T is wearing yellow stockings near the end, like Malvolio, but that might not be an intentional reference. 
- All American Bully  (2011) with Alexander Fraser, Daren Ackerman, Alicia Rose, Adrienne King; written and directed by Jason Hawkins. This suspenseful drama has a few Hamlet references. The first scene at the high school begins with the English teacher, Mr. Taylor, reading a portion of one of Hamlet’s famous soliloquys: “How all occasions do inform against me/And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,/If his chief good and market of his time/Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.” He then closes the book, and asks if there are any questions. The next day there is another scene in the English class, and the teacher says, “Hamlet, Hamlet, today’s a good day.” The film cuts to that class again, as the teacher says, “I will speak daggers to her, but use none.” He then asks the students: “What does this mean? ‘I will speak daggers to her, but use none.’ Come on, guys.” Garret (Darren Hicks) finally raises his hand, and says, “It means he’ll use the sharpness of his words, his voice to cut and injure her, but he won’t bring an actual physical weapon to use.” (see also Shakespeare)
- Being John Malkovich  (1999)  with John Cusack, Catherine Keener, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich; directed by Spike Jonze. This wonderful film has a few Shakespeare references, including one to Hamlet. Both Craig (John Cusack) and his wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), have fallen in love with Maxine (Catherine Keener), and the only way either can be with her is by entering John Malkovich. In the film, John is referred to a couple of times as “John Horatio Malkovich,” the middle name of course being a reference to the character from Hamlet. John Malkovich’s true middle name is Gavin. (see also Richard The Third, Shakespeare)
- The Big Lebowski  (1998) with Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi; directed by Joel Coen. This wonderful film has one brief reference to Hamlet.  Walter (John Goodman), about to spread Donny's ashes at the ocean, says, "Good night, sweet prince." 
- Billy Madison  (1995) with Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm MacDonald; directed by Tamra Davis.  This largely stupid but occasionally hilarious film about a guy who has to repeat all twelve grades of school in order to inherit his father's company has a reference to Hamlet.  During the academic decathalon near the end of the film, Eric (Bradley Whitford) reads, "To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune -"  And Billy (Adam Sandler) interrupts him, dressed in Elizabethan garb and carrying a skull.  He says (without reading from the play), "Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep no more."  Then, a little later, "Shakespeare" is one of the categories on the board in the game show-like scene.
- Black Sheep  (1996) with Chris Farley, David Spade, Tim Matheson; directed by Penelope Spheeris.  This generally awful comedy surprisingly includes a reference to Hamlet.  Governor Tracy is speaking to a man who has incriminating photos.  She says, "Here's the rub. You'll have to tell me your name so I'll know who to make the check out to."
- Came The Brawn  (1938) a Little Rascals short film directed by Gordon Douglas.  Alfalfa is trying to come up with someone to play the Masked Marvel, someone he can beat in the wrestling ring.  In walks Waldo, a nerdy kid, reading aloud from Julius Caesar. Then, in a later scene, the nerdy kid - now dressed as the Masked Marvel - is reading aloud from Hamlet.  He only manages to say, "Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer -" before Butch interrupts him, saying, "All right, Shakespeare, can the chatter and hand over that wrestling suit."  (See also Romeo And Juliet, Julius Caesar)
- Children Of The Corn: Revelation  (2001) with Claudette Mink, Kyle Cassie, Michael Ironside; directed by Guy Magar. This seventh film in the Children Of The Corn series has a Hamlet reference. The cashier at a convenience store is beheaded. The police find the head in the cooler. One detective asks another if a weapon was found. He responds, “We found it on a shelf over there next to Yorick.”
- Clueless  (1995) with Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Jeremy Sisto; written and directed by Amy Heckerling.  This film has a Hamlet reference, and actually a reference specifically to Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 film version of Hamlet. Josh (Paul Rudd) rescues Cher (Alicia Silverstone) from the valley, and in the car on the way home, Heather (Josh's girlfriend) says, "It's just like Hamlet said, 'To thine own self be true.'"  Cher, in the back seat, says, "No, Hamlet didn't say that."  Heather, feeling superior, replies, "I think that I remember Hamlet accurately."  Cher says, "Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn't say that.  That Polonius guy did."
- Cutthroat Island (1995) with Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella; directed by Renny Harlin.  This pirate movie has one Shakespeare reference. The film's villain, Dawg (Frank Langella), is following his niece Morgan's pirate ship. Realizing the trap Morgan is trying to set for him, he decides to go around it.  He says, "Uncle Dawg will have his day," a reference to Hamlet's line "The cat will mew and dog will have his day" in Hamlet, Act V. 
- Defending Your Life  (1991) with Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn; directed by Albert Brooks. This wonderful comedy has a reference to Hamlet. When Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) eats breakfast in Judgment City, the menu includes this Hamlet reference: “To bean or not to bean? That is the chill.”  (See also Romeo And Juliet)
- The Departed  (2006) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen; directed by Martin Scorsese. This film actually has a few references to Shakespeare, including one to Hamlet. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) calls Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to warn him of a coming police raid. Queenan (Martin Sheen) interrupts, saying, “The readiness is all.” That, of course, is a reference to Hamlet’s line to Horatio in Act V. The reference coming from that particular character at that moment doesn’t actually make sense, but there it is. (see also The Second Part Of King Henry The Fourth and Shakespeare)
- Elstree 1976  (2016) with David Prowse, Garrick Hagon, Jeremy Bulloch; directed by Jon Spira. This documentary about Star Wars actually contains several Shakespeare references, including one to Hamlet. Paul Blake talks about being offered a role in a series called Crossroads and saying, “I couldn’t possibly. I’m a serious actor. I’ve played Hamlet and Macbeth.” (see also As You Like It, Richard The Third, Macbeth, Shakespeare)
- The Fabulous Dorseys  (1947) with Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Janet Blair; directed by Alfred E. Green. Jane (Janet Blair) is surprised that Bob (William Lundigan) is working on a concerto. Bob replies, “Janie, don’t you know that every comedian has a hankering to play Hamlet?
- The Fear Chamber  (2009)  with Richard Tyson, Rhett Giles, and Steven Williams; directed by Kevin Carraway.  This messy horror film about a serial killer who harvests organs to give to children in Africa has a reference to Hamlet.  Toward the end, the killer says, "Good night, sweet prince" to the detective after he knocks him out.  In Act V Scene ii, lines 370-371, of Hamlet, Horatio says, "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince/And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" 
- French Quarter  (1978) with Virginia Mayo, Bruce Davison, Alisha Fontaine; directed by Dennis Kane. This odd and messy film has a surprising Shakespeare reference. A prostitute named Laura (Ann Michelle) is in bed, staring up at the ceiling, and she suddenly says, “Good night, sweet prince.” The man in bed with her then mumbles, “To be or not to be.”
- Gnomio & Juliet  (2011) with James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Matt Lucas, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Ashley Jensen; directed by Kelly Asbury.  This animated film features the tale of Romeo And Juliet as portrayed by garden gnomes and other lawn ornaments.  So while obviously this film is mostly Romeo And Juliet, it does contain references to other Shakespeare plays, including Hamlet. The Capulets and Montagues live in houses right next to each other on Verona Drive.  The blue house, owned by Miss Montague, is 2B Verona Dr., and the red house, owned by Mr. Capulet, is not 2B (the "2B" being crossed out).  Nanette leads Gnomeo out through the gate, and it is she who says, "Parting is such sweet sorrow."  But before that she sort of quotes from Hamlet: "Good night, sweet Prince, and flights of angels, or pigeons or sparrows or whatever."  There is another terrible Elton John song about love called "Love Builds A Garden," which plays during a flashback of the flamingo's love being taken away in a moving truck.  The moving company, by the way, is Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Movers.   (See also Romeo And Juliet, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Tempest.)
- Gotcha!  (1985) with Anthony Edwards, Linda Fiorentino, Nick Corri; directed by Jeff Kanew. While class is going on, Jonathan (Anthony Edwards) complains to friend, Manolo (Nick Corri) that he’s never going to get laid. The other students and even the teacher hear this remark. The teacher says, “Although that thought may be of great comfort to the women of the world, Mr. Moore, as a future veterinarian, you should know that every dog eventually has his day.” That is a reference to Act V Scene i of Hamlet: “Let Hercules himself do what he may,/The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.”
- Grosse Pointe Blank  (1997) with John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack; directed by George Armitage. Martin Blank (John Cusack) has returned home to do a hit and to attend his ten-year high school reunion. He talks with the father of the girl he sort of abandoned ten years ago. Martin asks him how he is. He replies: “Well, you know me, Martin. The same old sell-out, exploiting the oppressed.” He then quotes Hamlet: “What a piece of work is man. How noble-” He stops there, then says, “Oh, fuck it.”
- Hannah And Her Sisters  (1986) with Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine, Carrie Fisher; directed by Woody Allen. Elliot (Michael Caine) wants to leave his wife for another woman. He tells his analyst, “I can’t seem to take action. I’m like Hamlet unable to kill his uncle.” (See also Othello)
- A Hard Day’s Night  (1964) with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell, Victor Spinetti; directed by Richard Lester. The Beatles are goofing around backstage, trying on various wigs and costumes. At one point, Paul quotes Hamlet: “O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt.” That is the first line of Hamlet’s first soliloquy.
- High School Big Shot  (1958) with Tom Pittman, Virginia Aldridge, Howard Veit. The first scene after the opening credits is a classroom scene. The teacher says, “And at this point Hamlet picks up the skull of Yorick and delivers the famous speech. Now to whom was this speech delivered?” No one volunteers an answer. He asks Vince, who gives a smart-ass reply. He then asks Marvin, who answers, “The speech is from Act V Scene I, delivered to Horatio and the Grave Digger.” On the blackboard behind the teacher, several of Shakespeare’s plays are listed, including Hamlet. (see also The Comedy Of Errors, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Macbeth, Shakespeare)
- House Of Wax  (1953) with Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk. As Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) gives people a tour of his new wax museum, he comes to an exhibit of a hanging man. He tells the crowd: “Matthew Burke, the stockbroker. He was found hanged in the elevator shaft of the building where he had his offices. Was it murder or suicide?” He then quotes the last line of Act I Scene ii of Hamlet: “Foul deeds will rise,/Though all the world o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.” Though actually the line is “Foul deeds will rise,/Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.”  (see also Othello)
- Husbands And Wives  (1992) with Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Judy Davis, Sydney Pollack; written directed by Woody Allen.  In this, one of Woody Allen's many excellent films, Sally (Judy Davis) says to Judy Roth (Mia Farrow), "It's like Hamlet and Oedipus. You were angry that night because I did what you really want to do."  Judy responds, "You're over-dramatising."  They were talking about how Sally had split up with her husband and is enjoying being single.  (See also King Lear and Shakespeare)
- The Imposters  (1998) with Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt, Alfred Molina, Lili Taylor; directed by Stanley Tucci. Maurice (Oliver Platt) and Arthur (Stanley Tucci), two hungry, unemployed actors, hatch a scheme to get some free pastries from a local shop. The scene doesn’t quite play out the way they’d intended, and the shopkeeper offers Maurice two tickets to see Hamlet at the theatre with Jeremy Burtom in the lead. Arthur is dismayed when Maurice tells him. Arthur says, “You couldn’t pay me to go see that guy’s Hamlet.” Of course they go. And we see some of the production. Oddly, it seems to open with the second scene. The first line we hear is the King’s “But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son.” The film takes us as far as Hamlet’s “These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” We see Jeremy Burtom (Alfred Molina), drunk, during intermission, and then a bit more of the play. We see the fencing scene between Hamlet and Laertes, with Hamlet’s line, “Come for the third! Laertes, you do but dally.” Burtom is off his game, due to inebriation, and actually hits Laertes. Laertes leaves the stage, and so Burtom addresses the audience, saying they’ll lower the curtain, regroup, “And then complete this, the greatest of all of Mr. Shakespeare’s plays.” After the play, Maurice and Arthur have a drink with Mike (Matt Malloy), the man who played Laertes, who recounts other times Burtom hurt him and one time when he hurt the woman playing Gertrude. (see also Shakespeare)
- The Iron Lady  (2011) with Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent; directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) argues a point in Parliament. Someone else stands and says, “Methinks the Right Honorable Lady doth screech too much.” The line is later repeated. It is of course a reference to Gertrude’s line in Act III: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
- Johnny Hamlet  (1968) with Andrea Giordana, Gilbert Roland, Horst French; directed by Enzo G. Castellari. In addition to being an adaptation of Hamlet, this film actually contains references to Hamlet. In the opening scene, an actor in a troupe is rehearsing the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy. He repeats “And by a sleep,” as he struggles with the lines. Then later, the acting troupe shows up at a tavern, and playfully argue about a mishap in another town, referring to each other by their Hamlet character names.
- Just Before I Go  (2014) with Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Connie Stevens; directed by Courteney Cox. Ted’s nephew is in the school bathroom. A bully comes in, teasing another student who is named Romeo: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” He continues by referring to Hamlet: “Whether ‘tis nobler to suck a dick.” (see also Romeo And Juliet)
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang  (2005) with Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan; directed by Shane Black.  Harry (Robert Downey Jr) is a bit out of it, jacked up on some painkillers after having had his finger cut off. Anyway, he's explaining his theory on the crazy women in Los Angeles, and he says, "Now you take one of these gals who sleeps with a hundred guys a year and I bet you if you look in their childhood there's something rotten in Denver." Harmony corrects him, "Denmark."  "That too," Harry says.Of course that is a reference to the famous line spoken by Marcellus in Act I Scene iv of Hamlet.
- Kiss Me Kate (1953) with Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn, Bobby Van; screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley; directed by George Sidney. This film is an adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew, but there are many other Shakespeare references, including a few to Hamlet. Bill Calhoun, who plays Lucentio in the production, is upset because Lois Lane (Ann Miller) seems no longer satisfied with the world of night clubs. He says, “You thought they were great until you met this Hamlet.” Later, in the play when Petruchio is making the deal with Baptista for his daughter, in this version he doesn’t readily accept the twenty thousand crowns. He counters, “Thirty.” Baptista agrees to thirty, and Petruchio says, “Go, get thee to a notary,” a play on Hamlet’s “Get thee to a nunnery.” Fred later mentions his achievements: “My Hamlet in Dublin,” to which Lilli counters, “You got paid in potatoes – mashed.” When Fred is trying to get two goons off the stage with some improvisation, one of them responds, “To flee or not to flee, that is the question.” (see also The Taming Of The Shrew, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, All’s Well That Ends Well, Romeo And Juliet, Julius Caesar, Othello, Antony And Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Shakespeare)
- L.A. Story  (1991) with Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant, Marilu Henner, Sarah Jessica Parker; directed by Mick Jackson.  This beautiful and magical and hilarious comedy has several references to Shakespeare.  The first two are reference to Richard The Second and Macbeth.  But the rest are references to Hamlet.  Harris (Steve Martin) takes Sara (Victoria Tennant) on a tour of Los Angeles.  They go to the cemetery.  Harris tells her, "Lots of famous people are buried here.  Rocky Marciano, Benny Goodman, and, of course, William Shakespeare."  On screen we see Shakespeare's gravestone, which says, "William Shakespeare. Born 1564. Died 1616. Lived In Los Angeles 1612 - 1614."  Harris says, "I think he wrote Hamlet, Part 8: The Revenge here.  And then we get a variation of basically the entire gravedigger scene.  Harris and Sara come upon a gravedigger in a grave.  Harris asks, "Whose grave is this?"  The gravedigger replies, "Mine."  Sara says, "No, I think he means who's going to be buried here? What's his name?"  The gravedigger responds, "It's not a he, Miss."  Harris says, "All right, all right, she."  The gravedigger says, "Not a woman either."  Harris looks at Sara, confused.  The gravedigger explains, "Used to be a woman.  Now she's dead."  Harris says, "Finally, a funny gravedigger."  The gravedigger says, "Want to know how long it takes a body to rot?"  Harris says sarcastically, "Boy, do we."  And this is where the scene becomes a bit more specific to Los Angeles.  The gravedigger says, "Well, if they're not already rotten before they die, eight or nine years.  Some of them Beverly Hills women, though, they'll last you twelve years, they will."  Harris asks, "How come?"  The gravedigger says, "Well, their skin is so tan.  It's all stretched and polished up like a bloody shoe.  That'll keep the water out.  And water's the thing that'll ruin a perfectly good dead body, it will.  Also, they got them extra parts.  You know, some of that stuff, it's not biodegradable."  The gravedigger then reaches down and picks up a skull.  He continues, "Now here's a bloke that's been around for thirty-five years, I bet."  Harris asks, "Who was he?"  The gravedigger responds, "That there's a magician.  The Great Blunderman.  Not so great now, is he?"  Harris squats down and takes the skull.  He says, "Great Blunderman.  I knew him.  He was a funny guy.  Taught me magic."  Sara asks, "A fellow of infinite jest?"  Harris says, "Yeah."  The gravedigger says, "That's it."  Sara now quotes the play directly: "He hath born me on his back a thousand times."  The gravedigger says, "She knows.  She's got it."  Sara says, "Where be your jibes now, your flashes of merriment that would set the table on a roar?"  Harris turns to her and says, "Ordinarily I don't like to be around interesting people because it means I have to be interesting too."  It's a really interesting scene, because clearly the gravedigger knows perfectly well that he's doing Hamlet, and is excited when Sara catches on.  But those aren't the only references to Hamlet in this film.  At the end, the magical road sign (yes, there is a magical road sign) says, "There are more things n Heaven and Earth Harris than are dreamt of n your philosophy."  (It uses just an "n" instead of the word "in," as the sign likes to save letters.)  That is a line that Hamlet says to Horatio in Act I Scene v.  (See also Richard The Second, Macbeth, Shakespeare.)
- The Lady And The The Highwayman  (1989) with Hugh Grant, Emma Samms, Oliver Reed, Claire Bloom, Michael York; directed by John Hough.  This film, which takes place in the 17th century, has a reference to Hamlet.  The scheming Rudolph Vyne (played by Christopher Cazenove), who wishes to be a duke, says, "Dear Barbara, don't look so pale.  I'm not asking for a loan. You remember what sweet Will Shakespeare said. Neither a borrower nor a lender be.  For neither side is happy with the interest rates."  The actual lines, from Act I Scene iii, are, "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;/For loan oft loses both itself and a friend,/And borrowing dulleth edge of husbandry." 
- Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search For A Kool Place  (2011) This documentary has a few Shakespeare references, including one to Hamlet. Stark Naked, commenting on certain footage of herself, says, “It reminds me of mad Ophelia.”  (see also Romeo And Juliet, Shakespeare)
- Me And Orson Welles  (2008) with Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes; screenplay by Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo, based on the novel by Robert Kaplow; directed by Richard Linklater.   This delightful film is a fictitious tale about Orson Welles' 1937 mounting of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.  But while it focuses on that play, there are several references to other Shakespeare plays, including Hamlet.  Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) is carrying John Gielgud's book about Hamlet at the beginning of the film.  Orson Welles (Christian McKay) refers to it, then asks Richard, "Did you hear my Hamlet on radio?"  Richard responds, "Yes. On the Columbia Workshop last fall."  Orson asks him, "What did you think?"  Richard answers, "Well, considering the time constraints you were under, trying to squeeze Hamlet into two half-hour broadcasts, I'd say the results were very close to brilliant."  Orson says, "That is exactly correct. People criticized me for cutting 'To be or not to be.' But dramatically, in terms of pure story, that is the most expendable speech in the entire play."  Richard says, "It doesn't tell us one thing we don't already know." 
- Mr. Turner  (2014) with Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson; directed by Mike Leigh. In a gallery, when Mr. Turner (Timothy Spall) has seemingly ruined one of his paintings with a splash of red, one of the men assembled says, “Method in the madness, gentleman.” Another responds, “If that is method, it is pure madness.” This is a reference to Polonius’ line, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”  (see also King Lear)
- The Muppets  (2011)  with Jason Segel, Amy Adams; directed by James Bobin.  In what is by far the best Muppet movie since the original three, Walter tells Gonzo that he saw him recite Hamlet while jumping a motorcycle through a flaming hoop.
- My Darling Clementine  (1946)  with Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan, Cathy Downs; directed by John Ford.  This western about Wyatt Earp has a few Shakespeare references, including the famous soliloquy from Hamlet. In the scene after Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) has met Doc Holliday at a bar, Granville Thorndyke comes in, demanding service.  Wyatt tells Doc, "That's the actor in tonight's show."  Doc says, "Shakespeare in Tombstone."  The bartender (off screen) says, "Coming right up, Mr. Shakespeare."  Doc says to Earp, "Been a long time since I heard Shakespeare.  How would you like to join me tonight, Marshall?"  Later, while people are waiting for him to perform in the theatre, Thorndike is in a tavern, where he recites the "To be or not to be" speech to piano accompaniment.  At "mortal coil," he is interrupted by a patron.  Doc tells him to go on.  At "bare bodkin," Thorndyke lifts a dagger.  And at "weary life" he drops his dagger, not remembering the next line.  Doc then continues the soliloquy, until a coughing fit sends him outside.  Earp then tells Thorndyke, "They're waiting for you at the theatre, Mr. Thorndyke."  Thorndyke replies, "Thank you, sir. Shakespeare was not meant for taverns."  Then later, as Thorndyke is getting on a coach to leave town, he quotes from Hamlet again, saying "Good night, sweet prince."   (see also Romeo And Juliet, Shakespeare)
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls  (2013) with Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman. Trying to regain her stolen crown, Twilight Sparkle ends up in an alternate world, where the ponies are teenagers. She has to run for Princess of the Fall Formal. Fluttershy says Twilight Sparkle will have to convince all the other kids to vote for her, and points to different groups. When she says, “The dramas,” we see one teenager holding a skull in one hand, clearly a reference to Hamlet.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie  (1996) with Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Jim Mallon; directed by Jim Mallon. After Mike smashes the Satellite Of Love into the Hubble, he uses the manipulator arms to release it. As he does so, he says, “I’ll just release it gently like a sparrow into the night sky.” Crow says, “Good night, Sweet Hubble and a flight of angels sing thee to thy rest.” (see also Sonnets)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara; directed by Tim Burton. During the song, “Jack’s Lament,” there is a reference to Hamlet. Jack sings, “Since I am dead, I can take off my head and recite Shakespearean quotations.” He holds his own skull in his right hand. 
- Noises Off… (1992)  with Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Julie Hagerty, Christopher Reeve; directed by Peter Bogdanovich. This delightful comedy has plenty of references to Hamlet. One member of the cast is missing during the tech rehearsal, and the rest are worried he’s off on a binge. But while they discuss him, he quietly walks in. Garry (John Ritter) says, “Oh my god, he’s been here all the time.” Lloyd (Michael Caine) adds, “Standing there, like Hamlet’s father.” Then later Lloyd mentions how he wasn’t present at some of the play’s performances in other cities. He says, “How could I be in Decatur and Paducah when I was in New York sorting out Hamlet in Queens?” Later, in Miami Beach, when Tim (Mark Linn-Baker) tries to tell Lloyd the current troubles with the play, Lloyd interrupts him to say: “I have Hamlet’s Ghost on the phone for an hour every evening after rehearsal complaining that Polonius is sucking sourballs through his speeches. Claudius is off every afternoon doing a soap, and Gertrude is off the entire week doing a commercial for Gallo Wine. Hamlet himself, would you believe, has come down with a psychological problem.” He then explains why he’s come to see Brooke: “I have just one afternoon while Hamlet sees his shrink and Ophelia starts divorce proceedings to cure Brooke of her nervous exhaustion.” And at another performance, when things have gone completely haywire and the cast turns to Lloyd for help, Lloyd says, “I’ve been working on Hamlet for the last six weeks.” (see also Shakespeare)  
- Outrageous Fortune  (1987)  with Shelley Long, Bette Midler, Peter Coyote, George Carlin; written by Leslie Dixon; directed by Arthur Hiller.  This comedy is full of references to Hamlet.  Obviously the title itself is a reference to the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy.  The film opens with Lauren (Shelley Long) in a fencing class.  Her opponent complains about having to do this.  Lauren tells her, "If you want to do Shakespeare, Shakespearean people have duels."  Her opponent says, "Not the women."  Lauren replies, "It's my ambition to play Hamlet."  She then has an audition to get into an acting class.  In the lobby there is a Hamlet poster on the wall behind Sandy (Bette Midler).  (There is also a King Lear poster.)  When Sandy decides to wing an audition, Lauren berates her, saying you have to have a classical monologue prepared.  She herself is going to do Ophelia's mad scene.  Later, in the acting class, the teacher says to Sandy, "You will now perform for us, also without words, Hamlet's soliloquy."  Sandy responds, "Who's that?"  (Of course, the correct response would have been, "Which one?")  The teachers says, "Hamlet.  Hamlet.  Shakespeare's Tragedy Of Hamlet."  Much later Sandy mentions the play again: "Hamlet.  How am I going to know Hamlet?"  Lauren replies, "You really should if you're going to be an actress."  And then, even later, Sandy says, "Aren't you dead yet?"  Lauren answers, "Not 'til I play Hamlet."  And at the end of the film she's on stage, being applauded, having just performed Hamlet.  During the credits we hear Lauren and Sandy talking about Hamlet.  Sandy says, "He's a wimp. I mean, look at him.  He can't make up his mind about anything.  He stands around all night and says, 'What'll I do? What'll I do?  What'll I do?'  Give me Romeo or Henry the Fifth.  Now there's a guy I could boff."  (See also King Lear, Romeo And Juliet, Henry The Fifth)
 - The Philanthropist  (1975) with Ronald Pickup, Helen Mirren, Charles Gray. A young playwright asks two men for their opinions of his new work. One tells him, “My only advice to writers is: Make the real shapes.” He then explains, “It’s an anagram of Shakespeare and Hamlet.”
- The Pink Panther  (1963) with Peter Sellers, David Niven, Robert Wagner; directed by Blake Edwards. The princess (Claudia Cardinale), drunk on champagne given to her by Sir Charles, says she cannot feel her lips. Sir Charles (David Niven) takes that as an opportunity to kiss her. “Won’t do you any good,” she tells him. “I can’t feel it.” She then adds, “Hoisted on your own petard.” That, of course, is a reference to Hamlet’s line “For ’tis the sport to have the engineer/Hoist with his own petard.” The princess then says, “Ooh, don’t try to say that when you haven’t got any lips.” 
- Pirate Radio  (2009) with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost; written and directed by Richard Curtis. When pirate radio becomes illegal at midnight, The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman) does a countdown: “Three, two, one. And the rest is silence.” He is then quiet for a moment. The line of course is a reference to Hamlet’s final line of the play.
- The Rebound  (2009) with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Art Garfunkel; directed by Bart Freundlich.  This romantic comedy about a woman and a younger man has a reference to Hamlet.  On their first official date, Aram takes Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to his friend's acting showcase.  They have to sit through the performances of forty-six actors doing scenes from plays and films.  Of course, someone does the "To be or not to be" speech.  He gets as far as "outrageous fortune," and then a piece of the set falls over. 
- Secret Honor  (1984) with Philip Baker Hall; directed by Robert Altman. Richard Nixon (Philip Baker Hall) walks about the room, sorting out his thoughts on tape. At one point he says he could always cry in public, that is drama coach in school “always said I was the most melancholy Dane that he had ever directed.” He then raises his hands and quotes, “To be or not.” He stops there, lowers his hands, and says, “Yes, that is the question all right.” He continues: “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against –” He stops there, saying, “Everyone used to say that Adlai Stevenson was Hamlet. No, no, that is not true. It was me who was really Hamlet and Ike was the king.”
- A Shot In The Dark  (1964) with Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, Herbert Lom; directed by Blake Edwards. After there have been two murders in his house, Mr. Ballon says he can’t just fire the maid, who is suspected of the murders, saying she’s given them no cause. His wife exclaims: “Cause! We are up to our necks in dead bodies. What are you waiting for? The last act of Hamlet?” (see also Macbeth, Shakespeare)
- Sir Ivan: I Am Peaceman  (2013) with Ivan Wilzig; directed by Jim Brown. This puff piece, lightly disguised as a documentary, actually has a reference to Hamlet, though I doubt those involved with this film are aware of it. When explaining why he wears capes with the peace symbol, Ivan Wilzig says, “I know that there’s a method to my madness.” That is a reference to Polonious’ line, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”
- Stage Beauty  (2004) with Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Rupert Everett, Tom Wilkinson, Ben Chaplin, Hugh Bonneville; directed by Richard Eyre.  This film stars Billy Crudup as Ned Kynaston, a 17th century actor famous for playing the female roles in Shakespeare's plays.  His Desdemona is greatly admired, and Othello is the main Shakespeare play focused on in this film.  But fans also mention that they love his Ophelia.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country  (1991)  with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Christopher Plummer, Kim Cattrall; directed by Nicholas Meyer.  In this, what is one of the best Star Trek films, there are many references to Shakespeare's works, including several to Hamlet.  The first, of course, is the film's title.  This is one of several films whose title is taken from Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" speech.  The Enterprise is ordered to escort a Klingon ship to Earth.  Kirk (William Shatner) invites the Klingons to dine aboard the Enterprise.  Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) says, "I offer a toast. The undiscovered country.  The future."  They all repeat, "The undiscovered country."  Spock then says, "Hamlet, Act III Scene i."  Chancellor Gorkon says, "You've not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon."  General Chang then says what I guess to be the Klingon translation of "To be or not to be."  When the discussion gets heated, Uhura says, "General, are you fond of Shakespeare?"  The Klingons are worried about the destruction of their culture.  General Chang says, "To be or not to be. That is the question which preoccupies our people, Captain Kirk."  Near the end of the film, when Chang sees the torpedo headed toward his cloaked ship he says, "To be or not to be."  And at the end, Kirk says to the Chancellor's daughter, "Your father called the future the undiscovered country."  This film also has references to Romeo And Juliet, Richard The Second, The Second Part Of King Henry The Fourth, Henry The Fifth, The Merchant Of Venice, The Tempest.
- Student Bodies  (1981) with Kristen Riter, Matt Goldsby; directed by Mickey Rose.  This horror comedy has a reference to Hamlet.  Though it is the last day of school, one of the teachers says to her class, "Today we will discuss Shakespeare's Hamlet. Who was Hamlet?"  A student responds, "His dog."  The teacher says, "His dog?"  The student jokes, "Wasn't he a great Dane?"  The teacher tells him that is the stupidest answer she's ever received.  She then continues, "Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. It is the story of a prince, the prince of Denmark, a melancholy man whose mother is sleeping with his uncle."  A student says, "I can relate to that."  The teacher continues, "And how does he solve this problem?"  All the students say, "Murder."  (See also Romeo And Juliet)
- Swingers (1996) with Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston; directed by Doug Liman. At the beginning of the film, Mike (Jon Favreau) and Rob (Ron Livingston) are having a conversation about what do about Mike's girlfriend. Rob tells Mike that women know not to come back until the man really forgets about them. "There's the rub," Mike says. “There’s the rub,” Rob agrees. This is a reference to the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy.
- Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) with Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Barry Watson; directed by Kevin Williamson. Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren) gets her student Luke (Barry Watson) to admit his attraction to Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes). A moment later Leigh Ann enters the room, and Mrs. Tingle says, “Enter Ophelia.” (see also Romeo And Juliet)
- Teenage Ghost Punk  (2014) with Grace Madigan, Jack Cramer, Adria Dawn, Noah Kitsos; directed by Mike Cramer. Amanda’s teacher describes a scene from Hamlet to the class. He says: “So it’s late at night, and Hamlet’s compatriots are outside the castle, looking for an apparition, a ghost. Marcellus wants Horatio to see the ghost for himself, but Horatio is skeptical. ‘Tush, tush,’ he says, ‘Twill not appear.’ But the ghost does appear. And Horatio goes from skeptical to scared, and he asks the ghost if he is the deceased king. The ghost says nothing. He just stalks off. So now Horatio shouts at the ghost, saying, ‘Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!’” In the next scene, Amanda (Grace Madigan) is at home. She hears a sound and asks, “Ghost?” She then says, “If you’re there, speak, I charge thee.” The next scene takes us back to the classroom, where the teacher discusses the play with his students. He says: “Well, we were discussing Hamlet. Now Horatio does not believe in ghosts. But then he and Barnardo encounter an apparition that looks like the dead king. So Barnardo calls out Horatio: ‘How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale. Is not this something more than fantasy? What think you on it?’ So, what think you on it, class? Is this ghost real?” A student answers immediately: “I think the ghost is only real in that Barnardo and Horatio think that they can see it. The audience doesn’t need to care if it’s real or not.” Another student then says: “I think it’s real. Horatio’s a skeptic, and yet he still sees it.” A third student says: “Right, but the ghost is only meant to be a story-advancing device. I don’t think Shakespeare actually believed in ghosts or expected his audience to believe in ghosts.” A fourth student counters: “Then why does he put ghosts in like four different plays? Maybe Shakespeare thought ghosts were real.” Amanda raises her hand. The teacher calls on her. She says: “I think that Shakespeare actually transcends time and culture, and the reason why he works so well in the twenty-first century are because his characters are so real. And I think that ghosts are real. I know they are.” (see also Shakespeare)
- Theater Of Blood  (1973)  with Vincent Price, Diana Rigg; directed by Douglas Hickox. In this movie, an actor kills his critics by methods from Shakespeare's plays. There are references to Julius Caesar, Troilus And Cressidea, Cymbeline, The Merchant Of Venice - in his version, Shylock does indeed get his bond - Richard III, Romeo & Juliet, Othello, Henry VI Part I, Titus Andronicus, King Lear and Hamlet.
- Top Hat & Tales: Harold Ross And The Making Of The New Yorker  (2001) with John Updike, Stuart Hemple; directed by Adam Van Doren. In this documentary film, the narrator says, about Harold Ross: “He would have recognized the truth in E.B. White’s characterization: ‘We feel like a man who has left his house to go to a Punch And Judy show, and by some error in direction wandered into Hamlet.’” It’s actually the last line of the film.
- Trading Places  (1983) with Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis; directed by John Landis.  When Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) has been made destitute, he's helped by a prostitute named Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis).  Winthrop says, "Ophelia. You realize that's the name-" Ophelia interrupts him, "I know, I know, I know. Hamlet's girlfriend. He went crazy, she killed herself. This is not Shakespeare, Louie."
- Two Girls And A Guy (1997) with Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner; written and directed by James Toback. This wonderful film has a few references to Hamlet. The first is early on when Lou (Natasha Gregson Wagner) looks at the photos on Blake’s piano. One photo is of Blake (Robert Downey Jr.) doing the graveyard scene. We catch a quick glimpse of this photo, in which Blake is holding the skull. Later while confronting him, Lou asks, “Are you practicing your act?” Blake responds, “I’m a practicing actor.” He then says, “Obviously you’ve never seen my Hamlet, or you wouldn’t be berating me in this fashion. You’d have respect for me. You would. See, that’s me in that picture over there. I am the melancholy Dane.” She responds by asking, “Did Hamlet lead a double life?” Blake says, “I have to lay you onto a little of it, I think.” He then sets the scene: “Okay. Hamlet is upset with his mother for amongst many things co-conspiring to kill his father and also for owning his dick.” He then performs a bit from Act III Scene iv of the play: “Ecstasy!/My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time…” He makes one mistake, saying “Whiles rank and corruption” instead of “Whiles rank corruption.” At the end of his speech, when he says, “Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good,” Carla (Heather Graham) speaks the next line, which is the Queen’s: “O Hamlet, thou has cleft my heart in two.” In the play, however, it is “my heart in twain.” Blake then continues: “O throw away the worser part of it,/And live the purer with the other half./Good night; but go not to my uncle’s bed;/Assume a virtue if you have it not.” He then says, “You gonna tell me that I’m not a great actor?” He then asks Carla, “Where did you grab that line? I didn’t know that you knew Shakespeare.” A little later, Carla asks Blake, “I mean, do you ever have any real feelings? Or do you just, like, uh, play Hamlet all the time and pretend to have real feelings?”  By the way, on the DVD commentary, director James Toback says, “And this is, and I’m going to embarrass Robert by saying it, as good a Hamlet as has ever been done.” Robert Downey Jr. says he memorized it over a few nights.
- Under The Boardwalk  (1988) with Richard Joseph Paul, Danielle Von Zerneck, Keith Coogan; directed by Fritz Kiersch. This terrible surf movie is supposedly very loosely based on Romeo And Juliet, but really the only connection is that a surfer from the valley falls in love with the sister of a surfer from the beach. However, there are a couple of Shakespeare references, including one reference to Hamlet. In a scene in a bathroom, a bum steps out of a stall wearing a new shirt. He says, “Clothes make the man,” a common bastardization of Polonius’ line, “For the apparel oft proclaims the man.” (See also Shakespeare)
- Windrunner  (1994) with Jason Wiles, Margot Kidder, Russell Means, Amanda Peterson, Jake Busey. Greg (Jason Wiles) starts at a new school when his mother (Margot Kidder) moves the family. There is an early scene with three students on stools at the school’s theater. The drama teacher instructs them, “Let’s do this one more time, and this time I want you to do with just a little more feeling.” (That’s, of course, a terrible bit of direction.) And the students begin a scene from Hamlet. The first student, as Laertes, says, “Most humbly do I take my leave my lord.” The second, as Polonius, says, “The time invites you; go, your servants tend.” The first says, “Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well/What I have said to you.” Julie (Amanda Peterson), as Ophelia, says, “’Tis in my memory lock’d/And you yourself shall keep the key of it.” The first student says, “Farewell,” and the second says, “What is it, Ophelia, he hath said to you?” Julie responds, “So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.” Dave (Jake Busey), a student seated in the audience, teases, “Something touching him, eh?” Greg says, “Hey, shut up and give her a break, man.” The second student continues the scene: “’Tis told me, he hath very oft of late/Given private time to you; and you yourself/Have of your audience been most free and bounteous.” He then skips a few lines and says: “What is it between you? Give me up the truth.” Julie pauses, and the second student prompts her again: “What is it between you two?” Julie then points at Dave and says, “He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders/Of his affection to me.” Dave responds, “Oh, in your dreams, ice queen.” Then later they return to Hamlet, with the Ghost scene, and with Greg as Hamlet. Another student plays the Ghost, and begins: “My hour is almost come,/When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames/Must render up myself.” Greg says, “Alas, poor ghost.” The other student says, “Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing/To what I shall unfold.” Greg responds, “Speak; I am bound to hear.” The other student says, “So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.” Greg then says: “Explain thyself. Who art thou?” (instead of “What?”) The other student says: “I am thy father’s spirit,/Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,/And for the day confin’d to fast in fire,/Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature/Are burnt and purg’d away. But that I am forbid/To tell the secrets of my prison-house,/I could a tale unfold whose lightest word/Would freeze up thy blood/Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres.” The line “Would freeze up thy blood” is actually “Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood” in the play. He skips several lines, then continues: “List, list, oh list!/If thou didst ever thy dear father love/Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Greg doesn’t respond, because for some reason he sits upon the stage, staring out at Julie.
- The Wolf Of Wall Street  (2013) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner; directed by Martin Scorsese. When Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) learns that his wife’s aunt has died, he makes a reference to Hamlet, saying she “shuffled off her mortal coil.” That of course is a reference to a line from Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy.
- The Wolfman  (2010) with Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt; directed by Joe Johnston. This remake of the classic horror film has several Shakespeare references. The second scene of the film (in the unrated director’s cut) is of a production of Hamlet. We see a bit of the graveyard scene, beginning with Hamlet’s line, “Alas, poor Yorick.” (In the theatrical version, there is just a brief shot of the play.) Then backstage, as actors are leaving, someone calls, “Good night, sweet prince.” Later, an inspector talks to Lawrence Talbot, saying: “I’m not your enemy, Mr. Talbot. But you’ve been seen as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard the Third, all with that same face.” Then later in a nightmare sequence he is back on stage and again says “Alas, poor Yorick,” but this time is holding a severed head instead of a skull. Later, Lawrence’s father visits Lawrence in prison, and gives him a razor, telling him: “I have a small gift for you, Lawrence, in the event you don’t find life as glorious as I find it to be. Or not to be.” (see also Macbeth, Richard The Third)

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