We’re closing out the week of Marvel… and for the first time this week when there’s been a Marvel release, the column isn’t topped by it. The pole position goes to Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, long considered one of the greatest adaptaions of Shakespeare’s masterpiece ever put on film, and which netted Olivier Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor. (He was nominated for Best Director, but lost to John Huston.) It opened today in 1948.
Strangely enough, today’s Marvel movie also has Shakespearean themes. Though generally considered one of the runts of the MCU litter, I believe that Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is a deeply underrated entry, thanks to the director’s earnest embrace of the potentially goofy subject matter and the adroit way he brings the implicit Shakespearean themes to life (as well as providing a villain in Tom Hiddleston that the rest of the MCU has yet to top). Thor opened today in 2011.