IMDb > Macbeth (1948)
Macbeth
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Macbeth (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   3,518 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
23 June 1950 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Entertainment Greatness . . . That Only Motion Picture Magic Can Bring !
Plot:
In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
"Returning were as tedious as go o'er." See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
Orson Welles 
 
Writing credits
William Shakespeare (by)

William Shakespeare  play (uncredited)
Orson Welles  adaptation (uncredited)

Produced by
Richard Wilson .... associate producer
Charles K. Feldman .... executive producer (uncredited)
Orson Welles .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jacques Ibert 
 
Cinematography by
John L. Russell (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Louis Lindsay 
 
Art Direction by
Fred A. Ritter  (as Fred Ritter)
 
Set Decoration by
John McCarthy Jr. (set decorations)
James Redd (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Fred Ritter (costumes: men) (uncredited)
Orson Welles (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Peggy Gray .... hair stylist
Bob Mark .... makeup supervisor
Maurice Seiderman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Lacey .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Dan O'Herlihy .... set designer (uncredited)
Orson Welles .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Garry A. Harris .... sound (as Garry Harris)
John Stransky Jr. .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Howard Lydecker .... special effects
Theodore Lydecker .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William Bradford .... second unit photography
Nels Mathias .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adele Palmer .... women's costumes designed by
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Efrem Kurtz .... conductor
 
Other crew
William Alland .... dialogue director
Charles K. Feldman .... presenter
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min (cut version) | Germany:92 min | USA:107 min (premiere version) | USA:107 min (restored video version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Belgium:16 (Enfants Non Admis) | Brazil:14 | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1950) | UK:U | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1996) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #13176) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The inexpensive impressionist sets were designed by Orson Welles and Dan O'Herlihy.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Duncan and his men renew their baptismal vows with a prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1884.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
The Three Witches:Double,double,toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Macbeth (1911)See more »

FAQ

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32 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
"Returning were as tedious as go o'er.", 3 January 2006
Author: EddieK from United States

The good news? For his last Hollywood film of the 1940s, Orson Welles delivered a low-budget, inventive, expressionist Shakespeare adaptation that served as a template for his experimental European films. The bad news? Welles perhaps captures the eerie mood of "The Scottish Play" all too well; the film is an unrelentingly dark and often uncomfortable experience. The lugubrious pacing and indifferent acting offer little respite from the play's fatalism.

A little background helps one better appreciate this film. After a string of box office failures (including "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "The Lady from Shanghai"), Welles signed on with Republic Pictures to do a low-budget "Macbeth," hoping that he could popularize Shakespeare on film as he had done on radio and in the theatre. His actors rehearsed the play on tour, and painstakingly pre-recorded their dialogue in Scottish brogues. Welles then shot the film in 23 days, some kind of record for him. Well, you can guess what happened: The studio hated it. They forced Welles to cut 20 minutes from the film, and made the actors re-dub their dialogue with "normal" accents - wasting all that time they spent in pre-production. The film bombed on release and Welles spent the next 10 years working in Europe.

Years later, the original prints were found and released as another "Lost Welles Classic." Unfortunately, time has devalued that label; "Macbeth" doesn't quite meet the standard set by "Othello" or "Touch of Evil," two other films that were restored after Welles' death. While the Scottish accents are a nice touch, the extra running time actually robs the film of some momentum. Welles did wonders with the cheap Republic sets; the film is a masterpiece of expressionist set design. The same can't be said of the costumes, which make Welles look like the Statue of Liberty at one point. Constrained by having to sync their movements to pre-recorded dialogue, the actors deliver wooden performances (only the soliloquies, delivered in voice-over, resonate). Fortunately, the last twenty minutes are visually captivating and offer enough Wellesian moments to make the viewing worthwhile.

If Welles fails to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - as he would later do with "Othello" and "Chimes of Midnight" - he succeeds in developing an expressionist style that he would later perfect with his bizarro masterpiece "The Trial." "Macbeth" isn't exactly an enjoyable movie experience; indeed, "returning were as tedious as go o'er." But for the Welles aficionado, "Macbeth" provides an essential link between Welles' Hollywood years and the independent style of his European work.

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