Open main menu

Let the Devil Wear Black is a 1999 film directed by Stacy Title, co-written by Title and her husband, actor Jonathan Penner. The film is a modern retelling of the classic play Hamlet.[1]

Let the Devil Wear Black
DVD Cover
Directed byStacy Title
Produced byMatt Salinger
Screenplay byStacy Title
Jonathan Penner
Based onHamlet
by William Shakespeare
StarringMaury Chaykin
Jacqueline Bisset
Mary-Louise Parker
Norman Reedus
Philip Baker Hall
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyJim Whitaker
Edited byLuis Colina
New Moon Productions
Distributed byA-Pix Entertainment
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States



The film is a modern-day version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet set in Los Angeles.[2] Its promotional tagline is "Something is Rotten in the City of Angels".

The film reworks various Shakespearean plot devices.[3] All of the language is modern. Comparisons are easy to spot between the play and the film if the person is familiar with the play.[2] Even with it being based on Hamlet, Christopher Null of Film Critic said that it still has enough originality.[4] Before the film was rated, Joe Leydon of Variety said that a couple of relatively explicit sex scenes would have to be cut if the producers wanted an R rating.[3]


Jack, a grad student who has a history of mental illness can not get over the death of his father. Jack decides to take over his father's business. After receiving an anonymous tip that his father was murdered, he tries to put together the murder scheme. Soon after, he settles on his Uncle Carl as the prime suspect. At the same time, he realizes that his life is in danger.

Principal castEdit

Actor Role
Jonathan Penner Jack Lyne
Norman Reedus Brautigan
Jacqueline Bisset Helen Lyne
Mary-Louise Parker Julia Hirsch
Jamey Sheridan Carl Lyne
Chris Sarandon Mr. Lyne
Andrea Martin April
Philip Baker Hall Sol Hirsch
Joanna Gleason Dr. Rona Harvey
Jonathan Banks Satch

DVD releaseEdit

The DVD was released in 2000 in English and German.[5] The DVD has 15 chapters, Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, pan and scan transfer, Spanish subtitles, and a moving video scene index menu. The special features are behind the scenes footage and two versions of the film's movie trailer.


A Reel Film review said the actors are good and that the somber tone makes the film watchable.[2] Christopher Null, of Film Critic, said that the film's most priceless moment is when the character Ophelia samples dog food.[4]


  1. ^ Let the Devil Wear Black at AllMovie
  2. ^ a b c "Let the Devil Wear Black". Reel Film. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  3. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (1999-06-28). "Let the Devil Wear Black". Variety. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  4. ^ a b Null, Christopher (2001-04-03). "Let the Devil Wear Black". Film Critic. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  5. ^ "Let the Devil Wear Black (1999) R". Fancast. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2010-06-09.

External linksEdit