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

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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
23 June 1950 (France) See more »
Entertainment Greatness . . . That Only Motion Picture Magic Can Bring !
In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(40 articles)
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User Reviews:
From the Language Shapes See more (47 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min (cut version) | Germany:92 min | USA:107 min (premiere version) | USA:107 min (restored video version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
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?

Welles' Mercury Theater's first theatrical success had been the "Voodoo Version" of "Macbeth" staged in Harlem in 1936. This was an all-black production set in Haiti. Despite numerous positive reviews, Percy Hammond, of the Herald Tribune, gave the production a weak review. Welles encouraged the drummers in the production to chant spells against Hammond who got sick and died in less than 48 hours.See more »
Continuity: In one scene, you see Duncan in a crowd holding a lighted candle. The film cuts to a close up of Duncan and he is holding an unlit candle, the next cut back to Duncan in a crowd again holding a lighted candle.See more »
[first lines]
The Three, The Three, The Three:Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Katerina Izmailova (1927)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
From the Language Shapes, 7 March 2008
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

I got an angry email from a reader upset that I thought Olivier's "Hamlet" to be worthless.

I hold that view because of a personal appreciation of Shakespeare.

What I appreciate of his work is the unique way that his words can weave small cells of images, ambiguous layered and rich. Lovely as well, to tease their way into our souls. These little packages of firework wordimages burst on the tongues we listen with and successively whip a foam that perfectly follows the shape of the larger story.

He does this in different ways: "Tempest," "Ceasar," "Juliet" are all different and different from this play in how he structures this foamnarrative. This is not favorite among the great plays because it is excessively sonorous. I believe this to have something to do with Will's obsessions with word origins and his emphasis on Saxon structures.

Olivier is a typical British actor, someone that sees the words as merely shapes for the mouth and incidentally related to the grand arcs and tensions of the long composition. They are excuses for locution. Such actors disconnect the poetry from the massive stones that pass through the narrative.

This on the other hand is as well conceived as Olivier's Hamlet is mere posturing. It takes the poetry and uses it to build the whole. Welles mucks around with the play, reassigning text, creating new characters and editing heavily, but all to a coherent purpose. His army of cross bearers is something you will never forget.

But he does something else. All the changes, all the special attentions. All the theatrical devices are geared toward the cinematic expression. This isn't just a production by Welles. It was THE production. He'd been doing this for a decade. His theatrical production was the first cinematic play in history, and his work on it (and most of the players) came to Hollywood prepared, which is why we got "Citizen Kane."

This is terrific Shakespeare. This is terrific cinema. To my taste, "Othello" was even better. More layers. More ambiguity. More patina. And highly architectural.

But this. My friends. Shakespeare is special. Don't trust your soul with someone not worthy.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (47 total) »

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Those crowns.... Marius-Creb
This was a play originally correct? Skylersandy
Masterful SurrenderToto
Rubbish dombrewer
I need help on a Macbeth project. Please look. movielover26
Entire Film on YouTube sdgresham
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