MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 21,345 this week

Joe MacBeth (1955)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  February 1956 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 116 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

Shakespeare (more-or-less) in modern gangster setting. Lily MacBeth pushes her husband Joe to rub out the reigning crime boss and become the new "kingpin" himself. Success is short- lived, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 72 titles
created 25 Nov 2013
 
a list of 90 titles
created 28 Jan 2014
 
a list of 2240 titles
created 02 Apr 2014
 
a list of 70 titles
created 01 May 2014
 
list image
a list of 25 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Joe MacBeth" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Joe MacBeth (1955)

Joe MacBeth (1955) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Joe MacBeth.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scotland, Pa. (2001)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A modernized retelling of "MacBeth" set in 1970s suburban Pennsylvania. Joe McBeth, an unambitious hamburger stand employee, is driven to success by his scheming wife.

Director: Billy Morrissette
Stars: James Le Gros, Maura Tierney, Christopher Walken
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A hitman heeds a spiritualist's prophesies that he will rise to the head of his family. He starts his ascension by clandestinely executing the heads of the family and casting the blame on ... See full summary »

Director: William Reilly
Stars: John Turturro, Katherine Borowitz, Dennis Farina
Blowing Wild (1953)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In South America, when Jeff Dawson and Dutch Peterson's oil rigs are dynamited by local bandits, the two partners resort to risky transportation of nitroglycerin to raise money.

Director: Hugo Fregonese
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Ruth Roman
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young comic plays second-rate nightclubs and chintzy resorts in his struggle to break into the big time.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Milton Berle, Virginia Mayo, Ruth Roman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When FBI Agent Zack Stewart is killed, Agent John Ripley takes over the three cases he was working on, hoping one will lead to his killer. The first involves gangster Joe Walpo and Ripley ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Laven
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, Martha Hyer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Sent to a dude ranch in the west to recover her health, a New York actress falls in love with a ranch owner recently acquitted of the murder of his wife.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Richard Todd, Ruth Roman, Mercedes McCambridge
Macbeth I (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" set in the ganglands of Melbourne.

Director: Geoffrey Wright
Stars: Chloe Armstrong, Hannah Griffith, Kate Bell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Van Johnson, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Roman
Starlift (1951)
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Air Force fliers Rick Williams and Mike Nolan attempt to meet film star Nell Wayne, with whom Rick shares a hometown but not much else. Fellow film stars Doris Day and Ruth Roman mistakenly... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Virginia Mayo
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rosa Moline is bored with life in a small town. She loves Chicago industrialist Neil Latimer who has a hunting lodge nearby. Rosa squeezes her husband's patients to pay their bills so she ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, David Brian
Maqbool (2003)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Macbeth meets the Godfather in present-day Bombay. The Scottish tragedy set in the contemporary underworld of India's commercial capital; two corrupt, fortune telling policemen take the ... See full summary »

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lily MacBeth
Bonar Colleano ...
Lennie
Grégoire Aslan ...
Duncan
Sidney James ...
Banky
Harry Green ...
Big Dutch
Minerva Pious ...
Rosie
Philip Vickers ...
Tommy
Teresa Thorne ...
Ruth
Walter Crisham ...
Kay Callard ...
Ruth
Robert Arden ...
George Margo ...
Second Assassin (as George Marco)
Mark Baker ...
Benny
Bill Nagy ...
Marty
Edit

Storyline

Shakespeare (more-or-less) in modern gangster setting. Lily MacBeth pushes her husband Joe to rub out the reigning crime boss and become the new "kingpin" himself. Success is short- lived, however, as he confronts Lennie, a mobster whose father and wife are Joe's murder victims. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Legion der Hölle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Shakespeare reworked as UK-made 'American' crime drama: Nice try, no cigar
22 November 2004 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Before his befuddled attempt to rework Shakespeare's tragedy into an urban mob movie, Philip Yordan had more than an honorable career as a screenwriter: When Strangers Marry, Whistle Stop, Suspense, The Chase, Reign of Terror, Edge of Doom, Detective Story, Johnny Guitar, The Big Combo (to cite only titles in or near the noir cycle). Perhaps Joe Macbeth's production in the United Kingdom proved the impetus for its being adapted from the ill-starred 'Scottish play,' adding one more element originating in Great Britain to satisfy all the codicils in the deal. But Yordan's writing is far from the major shortcoming in a movie that, despite occasional spurts of interest, falls short of satisfying.

For starters, it's hard to buy the usually sympathetic Paul Douglas as a plausible pretender to the throne, even a weak-kneed and vacillating one (Douglas was nearing 50 – as well as the end of his life – at the time). True, his striking at the king is prompted (if not prodded) by his ambitious wife – Ruth Roman, here steely and matronly (she was a sadly underused actress). But both are upstaged by Bonar Colleano as a smoldering agent of revenge and retribution – in much too underdeveloped a role.

Then, the milieu, which seems to be New York City and an estate on Long Island, strikes an inauthentic note, having been filmed on sound stages across the big pond (the street scenes are shabbily Victorian rather than raffishly New World). In a genre where atmosphere ought to be preeminent, Joe Macbeth stays imprecise and generic.

Last, the direction fell to the workmanlike Ken Hughes, who had some experience in British suspense thrillers, including some that might now be termed 'Britnoir:' The House Across The Lake and The Long Haul are two of the more notable of them. But he really doesn't have much to bring to the party, and once or twice stoops to low-comedy touches grindingly at odds with the tone of the movie.

The most arresting aspect of Joe Macbeth (and aspect, alas, which becomes an albatross), is a misguided fealty to the Bard of Avon. Lest anyone overlook its Elizabethan pedigree, Joe Macbeth piles on the homages. Banquo becomes 'Banky' (the ever watchable Sid James) and MacDuff 'Duffy;' the three witches are downsized to one, a has-been actress reduced to telling Tarot cards (Minerva Pious, in a delightful turn; her cauldron becomes a kettle where she boils chestnuts on a pushcart); we even have Roman doing the 'Out, damned spot' scene (luckily, Douglas was spared 'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow'). The trouble is, when you start noticing all the literary allusions and waiting for the next one to pop up, the movie you're watching has ceased to engage you on its own terms. Nice try, but no cigar.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Joe Macbeth on VHS/DVD dinosaur-3
Discuss Joe MacBeth (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?