Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1991)


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Based on Tom Stoppard's play, this erudite comedy rethinks Hamlet by telling the story of two of its least important characters. The duo debates the theory of probability, the nature of Hamlet's madness, and which of them is Rosencrantz and which Guildenstern while Shakespeare's tragedy plays out in the background.

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Gary Oldman
as Rosencrantz
Tim Roth
as Guildenstern
Richard Dreyfuss
as The Player
Joanna Roth
as Ophelia
Iain Glen
as Hamlet
Donald Sumpter
as King Claudius
Joanna Miles
as Queen Gertrude
Vili Matula
as Horatio
John Burgess
as English Ambassador
Livio Badurina
as Tragedian
Mare Mlacnik
as Tragedian
Srdjan Soric
as Tragedian
Mladen Vasary
as Tragedian
Branko Zavrsan
as Tragedian
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Critic Reviews for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6)

Both Oldman and Roth turn in flat and uninspiring performances.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

As happens at the opera, one usually laughs (if one laughs at all) not because something is funny, but because one has successfully recognized that it is supposed to be funny.

May 20, 2003

Staged as they are here, the jokes and the fourth-wall gamesmanship don't seem as funny as they did on the page.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

As a movie, this material, freely adapted by Stoppard, is boring and endless. It lies flat on the screen, hardly stirring.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

Unfortunately, Stoppard the director does not match the invigorating brilliance of Stoppard the writer.

Jul 3, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A disastrous adaptation of an excellent play.

Jul 3, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

A wonderfully witty film masterfully transferred from a marvellous stage script to the screen. The dialogue is constant and highly entertaining, the meshing of Stoppard's modern day speech of the original parts of the story and Shakespeare's original Hamlet practically seamless and masterfully worked. Gary Oldman gives a superb performance as Guildernstern (or is it Rosencratz - and, at the end of the day, does it matter?) outstanding in a fabulous cast. All in all this film cannot be recommended highly enough.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

I loved the cast and love Tom Stoppard's work, but this predecessor to "Shakespeare in Love" was much less stimulating, even though it was equally clever.

Summer W.
Summer W.

Super Reviewer

Humorous take on two minor characters in Hamlet is a bit extended but Oldman and especially Tim Roth are excellent and make a great team of if not exactly buffoons than simple minded couriers. Richard Dreyfus is also full of puckish fun as the leader of an itinerant troupe.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Two side characters from Hamlet wander around unaware of their destiny as the events of the tragedy unfold around them. Oldman and Roth are great, and the scene where they play Questions on a tennis court is hilarious.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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