Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Six-Gun Toting Hamlet Stars in Italian Movie [archived newspaper article]


The Times and Democrat

Orangeburg South Carolina 

August 14, 1965 

ROME (AP) – The cowboy pushes back his Stetson, stares at his six-gun and says in Italian “To be or not to be, this is the question”.

Who is this unusual cowpoke who speaks Italian and sounds remarkably like Shakespeare’s Hamlet?

Why it’s none other than Johnny Hamlet himself, Latest brainchild of Italian movie director Sergio Corbucci, who did the Italian – made western “Minnesota Clay”.

The picture was a big box-office smash in this country and now Corbucci wants to move on from simple Italian Westerns to Italian-Shakespeare – Westerns.

“It must be a Hamlet with a broad-brimmed Texas hat, “says Corbucci, “The title of the filmwill probably be ‘Johnny Hamlet’ or something like that, combining the classic name with one that sounds Western.”

Some other suggestions: Wild Bill Hamlet or Hamlet the Kid,

Says Corbucci: “I hope I can hire an actor off sufficient stature for this movie. It’s intended to be a transposition of the great Shakespearian character in the traditional environment of the American West. I have in mind Anthony Perkins or Germany’s Hardy Kruger”.

Corbucci doesn’t think there is anything odd about portraying the melancholy Dane as a gloomy ranch hand.

“When it comes to Hamlet, stage and movie directors always wrack their brains to find some unattempted setup for the scene of the famous monologue “To be or not to be”. 

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