The Criterion Collection, 2006. First Printing. DVDs, Complete Set of 4 discs.
First Printing in this collected form.
Sir Laurence Olivier first brought Shakespeare to the big screen in the 1940s. Olivier directed only five films in his sixty-year career, yet his three Shakespeare adaptations are still widely considered the definitive screen versions. Boxset includes:
Henry V – Olivier got out of the navy to make his directorial debut in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V and his World War II era audiences took courage from the tale of a king who surmounts overwhelming odds and merges victorious. Olivier’s Technicolor production features a re-creation of the battle of Agincourt and Sir Laurence was in his prime as director and actor. Special features include:
- Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder
- Shakespearean Royalty - a chronology of England’s rulers
Hamlet – Winner of Four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling screen version of Shakespeare’s best loved tragedy. Olivier is at his most inspired – both as director and as the melancholy Dane,
Richard III – Olivier, as director, producer, and star, transfigures Shakespeare’s historical drama into a mesmerizing vision of Machiavellian villainy. Olivier charges Richard with magnetic malevolence as he steals his brother Edward’s crown through a series of murderous machinations. Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, and the young Claire Bloom deliver superlative performances under Olivier's direction. Special edition double-disc set features:
- Audio commentary by playwright and stage director Russell Lees, joined by John Wilders, former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company
- Great Acting: Laurence Olivier, a 1966 BBC interview with Olivier hosted by theater critic Kenneth Tynan
- Excerpts from Olivier’s autobiography, On Acting
- An essay by film historian Bruce Eder
Four DVDs in three cases and cardboard slip-case, with English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, and theatrical trailers and galleries.
Henry V (1944) – 1 disc, 137 minutes, color, monaural, 1.33:1 aspect ratio
Hamlet (1948) – 1 disc, 153 minutes, black & white, monaural, 1.33:1 aspect ratio
Richard III (1955) – 2 discs, 158 minutes, color, monaural, 1.66:1 aspect ratio
Previously owned. Discs and cases are in excellent condition. Cardboard case shows a bit of wear to extreme corners, but is near fine overall.