Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Hamlet (1948)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Hamlet (1948, UK)

In actor/director/producer Laurence Olivier's Best Picture-winning Shakespearean tragi-drama:

  • the famous soliloquy of Prince of Denmark Hamlet (Oscar-winning Laurence Olivier): ("To be, or not to be: that is the question; Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep; No more; And by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to - 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come....")
  • the gravedigger scene in which Hamlet came upon the skull of an old jester Yorick, someone he knew as a child: ("Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, but now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your songs, your gambols, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come; make her laugh at that")
  • Hamlet's death after a swordfight and slash from a poisoned blade

"To Be Or Not to Be" Speech

Grave Digger Scene

Hamlet's Death


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z