Texts by Shakespeare. Translations by Pasternak. Scores by Shostakovich. And direction by Grigori Kozintsev, last of the great Soviet directors from the silent era.
With pedigrees like that, you’d expect something exceptional. And you get it – austere, stunning, black-and-white adaps that rank among the best Shakespeare movies ever made.
In their respective title roles, Innokenti Smoktunovsky makes a watchful, quietly passionate Hamlet, while Estonian veteran Jüri Järvet, diminutive and bird-like, proves unexpectedly moving as Lear.