Hamlet (1921) Movie Script

Hamlet was performed for the first time on the 4th of February 1921 in Berlin; no original negative survives.
All intertitles of this restoration follow the text of the German censorship records from the 10th of November 1920.
Missing or damaged sequences are complemented with film materials of the French rental company version that come from the same negative as the German version.
Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF Frankfurt 2006/07
With financial support of ZDF in collaboration with ARTE and the Hessian Cultural Endowment
Copy work:
Haghefilm Conservation Centre, Amsterdam
In collaboration with
Archives Franaises du Film du Centre National de la Cinmatographie
Counseil Gnral de la Charente
For centuries scholars have argued about Hamlet and the meaning of Hamlet's legend.
The most important poets of all time have written of Hamlet's life.
Voltaire, the famous French philosopher, calls Shakespeare's play a tasteless hodgepodge of mood and nonsense.
Herder says that Hamlet is in an habitual emotional crisis.
Even Goethe has rejected the fame of Hamlet in the sharpest way.
Hamlet is a castrated sheep!
Recently, the American Professor Vining, a Hamlet specialist, has given us a new interpretation.
The key to Hamlet was, until now, a deep secret - - Hamlet was a really woman!
Asta Nielsen-Film
Drama in a prelude and 6 acts
after Motifs from the Hamlet specialist, Professor Vining.
King Fortinbras of Norway fell in battle against the Danes.
The Danish King Hamlet, his opponent, was critically wounded.
The Danish people expect news of the birth of a successor to the throne.
The Queen's hour of giving birth.
A boy?
No, Queen, a Princess!
Our king is wounded and dying!
Woe! The Crown is lost!
This is my advice, Queen. Announce the Princess as the heir to the throne and the people will believe it is a boy!
Health to our Royal Family! A Prince is born!
Thanks to you, loyal men, our victory gives me new strength!
With you wounded, I thought the throne lost. To save the crown, I sent our daughter as a successor to the throne!
What was announced to the people, cannot be undone. God keep our secret for the good of the country!
End of Prelude
Act 1
Prince Hamlet's youth.
Hamlet worries me; it isn't good for him to be always alone!
It is my wish that you go to High School in Wittenberg.
I greet you, Queen, and dear sister-in-law!
The high school in Wittenberg.
My name is Horatio, from Provence.
How wonderful Provence must be!
And Laertes, in love with being a perpetual student.
Inhibited wings
This is Fortinbras, Prince of Norway
My father fell by a Danish sword! But I want to be free of this hate!
His lust for the King's throne drives Claudius to reckless deeds.
You belong to me, and whatever is in the way, I will destroy!
Now the throne belongs to me!
Where do I find prince Hamlet?
My Father --- dead?
A poisonous snake bit him!
End of Act 1
Act 2
King Hamlet was barely in his grave, when the marriage of Claudius and Queen Gertrude was celebrated.
The Finance Minister, Polonius, passes the crown to the new King.
Horatio, the loyal friend of Hamlet, has accompanied him to Denmark.
Prince, you come exactly at the right time. You can attend the funeral meal and wedding feast at the same time!
Away with the last sign of grief! It is a happy day for us.
Father, in your whole empire, I am the only one left to mourn you!
Is the rumor right, old man, that it was you who found my father?
I found the snake also, Prince, and to me, it looked like one of the venomous snakes from the Castle Dungeon!
The dagger of my uncle!
I want people to think that I have lost my senses, so I can investigate unnoticed!
Only you, Horatio, will know that I hide behind a mask!
The ruse
With skilled fingers a crown can easily disappear in Denmark.
Is that my dagger in Hamlet's hand?
If Hamlet were not mad, I would fear him!
We must put the Prince's mind on other things. Shall I give my daughter, Ophelia, a hint to see him?
Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius
Away, away, you are wrong like all the others!
Father, father, give me a sign to avenge your death!
End of Act 2
Act 3
Distrusting Hamlet's insanity, the King has a doctor check his mental condition.
Please favor us, Prince, and show us the things you have made yourself.
What is missing in one place is too much in another. Just when he talks too much, his brain gets small!
Your good appearance, uncle, lets me hope that the heavy crown does not oppress you too much.
A wonderful virgin!
The game of lies gets more entangled.
That's how Horatio would be separated from him ---
Don't I always give you good counsel, King! The Prince is ablaze.
Now, Horatio, you belong only to me!
Thoughts of avenging his father leave Hamlet no rest.
Father, I have a sign from you in my dream! Now give me the strength to avenge you!
The "great" Prince!
Too weak to kill, and too weak even to die.
The Prince is out of his mind. He barely recognized me!
End of Act 3
Act 4
What!! Lovers, Ophelia, curly blockhead, -- dearest fat worm ---
You intentionally endanger your secret! - What will come of this unreasonable game?
I am not a man and I'm not allowed to be a woman! - I am a toy that is not supposed to have a heart.
Remember that I wanted to save the throne of our father for you!
Hey! A troop of actors!
Bring in that group of actors!
(double meaning - group of actors = mob of buffoons)
Can you perform a play, from what I say to you?
The performance of the play.
Now it is about the King, Horatio, pay attention well!
By my royal rage! The play must end immediately!
Now I am certain!
Would I have you die in prayer!
No, my revenge must strike you more deeply.
Mother, you gave me life! But no gift ever turned into such bitter grief!
Oh - the zealous Polonius!
This was meant for me!
End of Act 4
Act 5
Bring the Prince safely to Norway - but return without him! Do you understand me?
My dear Ophelia's grief causes me great pain.
The King wishes to speak to you, Prince.
Whatever may happen, I remain your friend!
I have an important message for King Fortinbras. It is my will that you deliver it.
That same day, Hamlet left Denmark.
Grief over the death of her father drove Ophelia mad.
The bad government of King Claudius has created unrest in the people.
I am Laertes, son of Polonius. What happened to my father?
Down with the King!
People, follow me!
Who killed my father?
Ophelia! Sister!
The first rest stop on Norwegian ground
Order to our vassal, King Fortinbras! A strict command for the welfare of Norway and Denmark. We remind you to faithfully carry out your pledge to support us.
For important reasons of state, and despite all objections, immediately cut off the head of Hamlet.
King of Denmark
I drink the health of my dear Hamlet!
The word "Hamlet" is changed to "escorts"
In the castle of the Norwegian King.
I greet you, King Fortinbras.
For important reasons of state, and despite all objections, immediately cut off the head of the escorts.
King of Denmark
To the executioner's block with both of them!
King Fortinbras decided to help his friend and to free Denmark from its criminal king.
On to Denmark!
End of Act 5
Act 6
Did you call me, darling? - I come Hamlet, I come!
On the way to Denmark
Hamlet hurries ahead of the Norwegian army.
When the morning dawns, we'll strike. The new sun, Hamlet, should see you on the throne.
Is this an illusion? Hamlet lives?
Don't worry, uncle. Let's keep the funeral dinner going!
Tonight Ophelia will be buried.
The Church has no prayers for a suicide!
Darling, poor sister!
For father and sister, I demand satisfaction! At the break of dawn I challenge you to a duel!
Woe! Claudius!
In this duel both you and I will take revenge! - I know a way to help you win it.
And if you do not strike him, he shall drink death from my hand!
I am not cowardly, but a vague foreboding oppresses my heart!
Drink, brave Hamlet!
The wrong goblet! Poison!
Only death betrays your secret! That you had the golden heart of a woman! Too late, to be lovers, too late!
I wanted to help you ascend to the throne, but your wings were broken on the steps.