IMDb > Macbeth (1948)
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Macbeth (1948) More at 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 »
User Reviews:
A dark, brooding, atmospheric Macbeth See more (40 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?

Laurence Olivier wanted to follow up Henry V (1944) with a film version of "Macbeth", but decided against it because Orson Welles' version would reach theaters first. Olivier opted to make his film of Hamlet (1948) instead, which went on to win him Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor.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 Macbeth (1913)See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A dark, brooding, atmospheric Macbeth, 18 March 2007
Author: bandw from Boulder, CO

Welles has created a unique interpretation of Macbeth with this film. It is very dark - literally so since almost the entire film takes place at night and the fog machines were cranked up pretty high for a lot of the scenes. Perhaps this darkness befits the mood of the story, but I began to feel oppressed by it. All the running about in ill-lighted cavernous hallways produced a claustrophobic effect.

Welles emphasizes Macbeth's ambivalence in acting on his ambitions and his anguish in having done so. The influence of Lady Macbeth is particularly accentuated; in the scene where Macbeth is wavering about killing the King, Lady Macbeth effectively challenges his manhood over any thoughts of failure to do the job. Wells is effective in delivering the voiced-over soliloquies and in developing Macbeth as a tortured brooder. Jeanette Nolan as Lady Macbeth is less successful than Welles - her "Out damned spot" scene was way over the top. It was fun to see a twenty-year-old Roddy McDowall playing Malcomb.

While there are some cinematic elements, like the escape of Fleance on horseback and the approach of Macduff and the English armies at the end, this is essentially the filming of a play. There are some interesting sets and lighting details, but there are also some cheesy sets and effects. The costumes look like they came out of some Viking movie and Macbeth's crown has all the appearance of having been fashioned for a junior high school play.

The musical score (by Jacques Ibert no less) is generic and frequently overbearing.

Going into this cold without having read the play or seen another production could be tough sledding.

Kurosawa took a lot from this Macbeth for his 1957 interpretation in "Throne of Blood." His Birnam wood scenes are almost identical to Welles'. For a more complete and accessible Macbeth, see Polanski's 1971 film. It would be interesting to see what Welles would have come up with if he had been turned loose on this with a big budget and no time constraints.

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