Hamlet. 1920. Denmark/Germany. Directed by Svend Gade, Heinz Schall. Adapted by Erwin Gepard, based on the play by William Shakespeare. With Asta Nielsen, Paul Conradi, Hans Junkerman. DCP. Silent, with German and English intertitles. Music track by Michael Riessler. 110 min.
“The plot of this Hamlet is drawn from Danish history as recorded by Saxo Grammaticus in the 12th century from Fratricide Punished, a German drama possibly based on a lost pre-quarto Shakespearian version, and from the Shakespearean play as we know it. But its somewhat startling denouement, revealing that Hamlet was actually a woman, is derived from Edward P. Vining’s The Mystery of Hamlet (1881) a book from which the scenarist of the film drew both his characterization of Prince Hamlet and several incidents not met with in any other source.” Courtesy DFF-Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum