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Hamlet (1954 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hamlet (1954).jpg
Screen shot of Kishore Sahu as Hamlet
Directed byKishore Sahu
Produced byKishore Sahu
Written byShakespeare
Kishore Sahu (screenplay)
StarringKishore Sahu
Mala Sinha
Venus Bannerjee
Music byRamesh Naidu
CinematographyK. H. Kapadia
Edited byKantilal B. Shukla
Hindustan Chitra
Release date
Running time
79 minutes

Hamlet (Urdu: हेमलेट‎) is a 1954 Hindi tragedy drama film, produced and directed by Kishore Sahu.[1] The film was a free adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, with Sahu playing Hamlet as well as writing the screenplay, while the dialogues were by Amanat Hilal and B. D. Verma.[2] It was produced under the "Hindustan Chitra" banner, a production company started by Sahu in 1944.[3] It was Ramesh Naidu's debut film as a music composer. The film starred Mala Sinha, Kishore Sahu, Venus Banerji, Kamaljeet and Jankidas.[4]

Sahu was influenced by "classic European sources".[5] Though termed a "free adaptation" in the credit roll of the film, Sahu's Hamlet stayed true to the title, its setting, and the original names in the play, remaining as close as possible to Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948).[6]


After seeing his father's ghost the film follows the play focusing on Hamlet's revenge on his Uncle Claudius, who has married his mother Gertrude after murdering Hamlet's father. He pretends to be insane and is in the process of staging a play where he plans to denounce his mother and Uncle.


  • Kishore Sahu as Hamlet
  • Mala Sinha as Ophelia
  • Venus Banejee
  • S. Nazir as Polonius
  • Kamaljeet as Laertes
  • Jankidas as Osric
  • Shreenath as Horatio
  • Rajan Kapoor
  • Hiralal as Claudius
  • Paul Sharma
  • Haroon


There were several plot changes, with Ophelia telling her part in flashback and singing songs with friends, while the gravediggers were "used for comic effect", thus giving in to Indian film-goers sensibilities.[7] The film had its inspiration from the Parsi theatre days, with Sahu's monologue inculcating couplets from famous Indian poets and using parts of dialogues from Ahsan's Khoon-Nahak (1928). Ophelia sang Bahadur Shah Zafar's "Na Kisi Ki Ankh Ka Noor Hoon", and a dying Hamlet quoted Zauq's "Layee Hayaat Aaye, Qaza Le Chali Chale".[8]

The "Parsi theatre tradition", which gave rise to several freely adapted Hindi films from Shakespeare, like Modi's Khoon Ka Khoon (1935), Akhtar Hussain's Romeo and Juliet (1947) and Cleopatra (1950), came to an end with Hamlet.[1]


The film did "reasonably well" at the box office. Acclaimed by the Filmfare critic, it was panned harshly by Filmindia, which called it a "slander" to Shakespeare. As stated by Manju Jain, Sybil Thorndyke who was present at the premiere of the film in Bombay thought that Gertrude was "magnificent".[8]


  • Khoon-E-Nahak (Murder Most Foul) (1928) was the first Hindi film adaptation, directed by Dada Athawale and written by Mehdi Hassan Ahsan.[9]
  • Khoon Ka Khoon (Hamlet) (1935), the next adaptation directed by Sohrab Modi, had Modi playing Hamlet with Naseem Banu as Ophelia, and Naseem's mother Shamshadbai playing Gertrude.[10]
  • Hamlet (1954) by Kishore Sahu was the closest to the original play,[6] and is cited as the "most noted adaptation".[9]
  • Haider (2014) is an adaptation set against the Kashmir conflict and directed by Vishal Bhardawaj.[11]


Ramesh Naidu was the debutant music director. He went on to score music for Telugu films in the 1970s, the most popular being Meghasandesam (1983), for which he won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction. The lyrics were written by Hasrat Jaipuri, while the playback singing was provided by Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi and Jagmohan Bakshi.[12]


# Title Singer
1 "Ankhon Mein Pyar Mere Diwana Haal Mera" Asha Bhosle
2 "Aa Jao Mere Pyare Arman Tujhko Pukare" Asha Bhosle
3 "Chahe Sataye Wo Chahe Rulaye" Asha Bhosle
4 "Sitamgar Kya Maza Paya Bata To Dil" Asha Bhosle
5 "Ghir Ghir Aaye Badarwa O Bhaiya" Mohammed Rafi, Jagmohan Bakshi


  1. ^ a b Graham Bradshaw; Tom Bishop (1 November 2012). The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Volume 12: Special Section, Shakespeare in India. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-1-4094-7108-0. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Hamlet (1954)". Gomolo. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Kishore Sahu (1915-1980)". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Hamlet (1954)". Alan Goble. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Taylor & Francis. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-135-94325-7. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b Dennis Kennedy; Yong Li Lan (4 February 2010). Shakespeare in Asia: Contemporary Performance. Cambridge University Press. pp. 86–. ISBN 978-0-521-51552-8. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. ^ Martin Procházka; Andreas Höfele; Hanna Scolnicov; Michael Dobson (12 December 2013). Renaissance Shakespeare: Shakespeare Renaissances: Proceedings of the Ninth World Shakespeare Congress. University of Delaware. pp. 346–. ISBN 978-1-61149-461-7. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b Manju Jain (2009). Narratives of Indian Cinema. Primus Books. pp. 231–. ISBN 978-81-908918-4-4. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b Ramachandran, S. (30 July 2006). "The Bard in Bollywood". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Sohrab Modi-The lion of Minerva". Film Ka Ilm. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Kay Kay Menon to play Shahid Kapoor's evil uncle in 'Haider'". The Indian Express. 23 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Hamlet (1954)". MySwar. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 August 2020, at 05:29
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