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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

Cast: Gary Oldman, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, more...
Director: Tom Stoppard, Tom Stoppard
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, UK
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Much as he would later do with Shakespeare in Love (1998), writer Tom Stoppard delivered a tale of Shakespearean origin from a skewed and unexpected perspective. In this case, it's the perspective of two relatively minor characters from Hamlet, Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) and Guildenstern (Tim Roth), courtiers who, in the original play, were dispatched offstage before the narrative's conclusion. In Stoppard's script (which he also directed), the two supporting players take center stage as the events unfold in Elsinore Castle. Unable to determine the source of the prince's tortured despair, the duo ponders the question of fate as their predetermined roles are played out. Meanwhile, they dabble in a little verbal tennis and some ill-advised science experiments, and endure the puzzling attentions of mysterious wandering thespians led by (Richard Dreyfuss). Ordered to accompany Hamlet (Iain Glen) to England, the pair learn that the letter they carry instructs that nation's king to decapitate their mentally unbalanced and irksome charge, a revelation that Hamlet overhears. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
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7.22 (87 votes)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Bonus Disc) (1990)
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6.14 (7 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

A favorite by Texan99 September 8, 2010 - 11:26 AM PDT
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I saw this play in the theatre when I was about twelve and was regrettably not too familiar with Hamlet; even then, when I understood very little of it, it had a way of grabbing me. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the movie version so many years later, when perhaps the metaphor of the Author as God would not be so fresh. I did enjoy it, though, very much. I can't get enough of either Tim Roth or Gary Oldman, and I really couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I enjoyed every minute of this film. Absolutely hilarious.

Who's on First? by akagaare November 17, 2006 - 11:00 AM PST
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
So, I gave this film a six because I got awfully tired of the "Who's on first?" type gag. It had its funny moments, and I really enjoyed the first scenes of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern flipping the coin and when they first meet the acting troupe, but once they get to the castle, I get a little tired of it. There are a few good scenes after that, but for the most part I found what was supposed to be witty repartee kind of boring. But if you really love "Who's on first?" then you will love this. And I suppose if you are interested in reworkings of Shakespeare then this might strike your fancy...maybe.

Finally, finally, finally on DVD! by mason March 22, 2005 - 9:26 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
It's about time this is finally released in the U.S. on DVD. I bought it on a Korean import a while back, despairing of ever seeing it over here -- and I had to have it if only to loan to everyone who's never seen it. Stoppard's brilliant script reflects on everything from death to chance, ultimately leading to a climactic question of fate and, perhaps, helplessness...or not? Wonderfully quirky direction and terrific performances from Oldman, Roth, and -- most especially -- Richard Dreyfuss make this a true must-see.

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