Actors Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Brian Cox, Steven Waddington Directors Gabriel Axel
Writers Gabriel Axel, Erik Kjersgaard, Saxo Grammaticus
Producers Denis Wigman, Kees Kasander, Kenneth Madsen, Sylvaine Sainderichin
Language Danish, English
Running time 85 minutes (edited version)
Info & Plot
This European historical saga presents the true tale of intrigue, regicide, incest, and insanity on which Shakespeare based Hamlet. It begins in the ancient Danish kingdom of Jutland in the sixth century. There ambitious Prince Fenge (Gabriel Byrne) murders his brother the king and one of his sons, but masks it as the casualty of a highway robbery. The dark prince then claims both the throne and his former sister-in-law, queen Geruth (Helen Mirren). Her son Amled saw the killings, but feigns madness to spare his life. Amled then begins preparing his revenge. Fenge is not convinced of Amled’s madness and arranges for a beautiful maid to seduce the truth out of him. That doesn’t work so Fenge sends his nephew to visit the Scottish home of his friend Aethelwine (Brian Cox), who will receive orders to kill him. Amled learns of the plot and changes the orders, immediately winning Aethelwine’s favor, winning a battle for the man, and marrying his daughter (Kate Beckinsale). Then the resourceful prince travels back to Jutland to deal with his uncle.