King John

Dando, Walter Pfeffer; Dickinson, Laurie; Kennedy, William 1899

King John is the earliest film adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s plays. The short silent film was made in 1899 and depicts the death of King John. It was directed by William Kennedy, Laurie Dickinson and Walter Pfeffer Dando and produced by British Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Read More

Le duel d’Hamlet

Maurice, Clément 1900

Hamlet, also known as Le Duel d’Hamlet, is a 1900 French film adaptation of an excerpt from the William Shakespeare play Hamlet. It is believed to have been the earliest film adaptation of the play, and starred actress Sarah Bernhardt in the lead role. It was directed by Clément Maurice. Read More


Plumb, Hay 1913

Released in 1913, Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson’s Hamlet is a black and white silent film with English subtitles. The film is a 22 minute version of the play, directed by Hay Plumb and produced by Cecil M. Hepworth. Other cast members include Gertrude Eliot, Adeline Bourne, and J.H. Barnes.

Hamlet: The Drama of Revenge

Gade, Svend 1920 | One Comment

Released in 1920, Svend Gade’s Hamlet: The Drama of Revenge stars Danish actress Asta Nielsen in the title role. Made in Germany, this 78 minute black and white silent film with English subtitles presents us with a Hamlet who, though actually a woman, is raised as a young man. The cast also includes Eduard von Winterstein, Mathilde Brandt, Anton de Verdier, Lilly Jacobssen, Hans Junkermann, Heinz Steida, Paul Conradi, and Fritz Achterberg.