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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Rosencrantz Guildenstern Are Dead
Actors: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Livio Badurina, Tomislav Maretic
Director: Tom Stoppard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
PG     2005     1hr 57min

In this cleverly inspired twist on William Shakespeare's Hamlet, two of the outrageous supporting players take center stage for a dazzling game of illusion and reality that delivers one-of-a-kind entertainment! World Class...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Livio Badurina, Tomislav Maretic
Director: Tom Stoppard
Creators: Tom Stoppard, Emanuel Azenberg, Iris Merlis, Louise Stephens, Michael Brandman, Patrick Whitley, William Shakespeare
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/22/2005
Original Release Date: 02/08/1991
Theatrical Release Date: 02/08/1991
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 35
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Oldman, Roth, and an excellent script.
viagrafalls | Denmark | 06/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This title got recommended to me by a female friend, who knew of my Gary Oldman fetish. I ordered it on VHS from the UK version of Amazon, and watched it the instant it arrived. Never before had I been so caught by a movie. Partially because of both Oldman and Roth delivering awesome performances as Rosencrantz and Gildenstern respectively. (Or was it the other way around?), partially because of the amazing plot, and the great humour implemented in the movie. So, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, both minor characters in Shakespear's Hamlet now star in their very own movie. They don't know what their purpose is, or who is who exactly. All they know is they were sent for. It turns out the king of Denmark wants them to try and find out what happened to Hamlet, who doesn't seem to quite have it all together anymore. The plot thickens as Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are being drawn into a web of treason and politics, which they themselves, of course, never see coming.The performance by Roth and Oldman is simply stunning. Both very convincingly draw attention to each other. Oldman as the slightly more naieve one discovering all kinds of scientific wonders, only to find them unappreciated by the more clever Roth, or being denied international scientific recognition by nature itself. (Some of these scenes are just hilarious, and those alone are worth buying the DVD).The dialogue in the movie is truly amazing, although at times tough to understand (cause of the old English), so I'm kinda hoping the DVD will sport subtitles. This is one of the two movies my collection has been patiently waiting for for a few years (Swing Kids being the other one). A definite 5 out of 5."
It makes no difference who you are...
Kate | TULLAHOMA, Tunisia | 08/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Query: what are the minor characters in Hamlet doing when they are not actively engaged in carrying the plot forward? Answer: floundering around, not entirely clear as to who they are, and absolutely clueless about what is going on. I remember being electrified by the play's genius when I first read it six million years ago, and only stumbled on the film adaptation by chance while channel surfing in San Diego. The film is a gem. Gary Oldman is a treasure as Rosencrantz, a follower if ever there was one, innocently and accidentally discovering the laws of physics then shrugging them off. Rosencrantz is a trifle slow at times, and he doesn't seem to know- or care- whether he is Rosencrantz or Guildenstern. Mostly, he just wants to go home. Tim Roth is brilliant as Guildenstern, who does know who he is but doesn't know what he can do about it. The interactions and wordplay between these two are dazzling. Richard Dreyfuss is perfect as the slightly sinister Player. Dreyfuss tends to chew scenery which is entirely apt for this character. The production values are wonderful and you get a real feel for the ambience- cold Denmark, even in cold castles, where actors saying their lines can see their own breath. If you love drollery and wordplay and fine acting, this is your kind of movie."
Worst DVD conversion of all time?
Ron Barry | San Francisco, California United States | 04/05/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I love this movie/play. I've seen it live a half-dozen times and have been eagerly awaiting the dvd for years. I have to say I couldn't be much more disappointed.

First thing that hits you is that the menus are screwed. Highlighting doesn't appear where it should, making it difficult - if not impossible - to tell which option you have selected.

When you get the movie playing, the compression has MAJOR PROBLEMS. My DVD player is only 2 years old, but there isn't a 10-second section of the entire movie that doesn't have several seconds at a time of completely garbled video - characters appearing and disappearing at random, multiple instances of a single character on screen at a time, the works.

To top it off, the whole this is a rip-off job. They obviously took a pan-and-scan of the movie and slapped black bars on it. This is made very clear in a number of scenes where you get pan-and-scan jumping as characters move around.

I would have thought that after the MGM lawsuit (they lost) that this sort of thing would have ended. I guess where there's a customer to be ripped off there's a corporation more than happy to do it.

Don't support this behaviour. Don't buy this DVD."
-- Waiting for Hamlet --
Bakhtin | Buffalo, NY | 02/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm sure I'll be regurgitating what many of the other reviews have said, but this film is so darn good... I can't help myself.

Take two minor characters from Hamlet, and give them the existential philosophical foundation of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" - and you have a masterpiece. The allusions, the ironies, the cultural references, the wordplay... brilliant. It all seems so very absurd - these two characters who don't know who or why they're really here - but we feel for them, because we see a hint of the universal human condition in them.

No matter what they do, the viewer KNOWS how Shakespeare's play unfolds, so we know their fate is sealed. They're destined to die very soon, and all they can do is try to make some sense of their existence before it happens. That's the human condition. That's us, even if we don't want to admit it.

The melancholy of Hamlet, the bleakness of Godot, and yet the play is still funny as hell! Stoppard's film does a wonderful job of using visual metaphor to accent the themes of his play, while still keeping the pace fast and the superb humor at the forefront.

Please give the film a try. If you like challenging, thought-provoking movies that still have you laughing... you'll dig this!"