Joe MacBeth (1955)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  February 1956 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 118 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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
Macbeth (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson
Macbeth (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Director: Jeremy Freeston
Stars: Jason Connery, Helen Baxendale, Graham McTavish
Macbeth (1916)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Shakespeare's tragedy of the Scots nobleman whose ambition leads him to betrayal, murder, and damnation.

Director: John Emerson
Stars: Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Constance Collier, Wilfred Lucas
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (TV Movie 2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A stage performance of the Shostakovich opera, filmed in Barcelona.

Director: Toni Bargalló
Stars: Mireille Capelle, Graham Clark, John Hurst
A Performance of Macbeth (TV Movie 1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Casson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, John Bown
Macbeth (1911)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Frank R. Benson, Constance Benson, Murray Carrington
Macbeth (1915)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Séverin-Mars, Georgette Leblanc
Shakespeare's Macbeth (TV Movie 1999)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The Roma Theatre performs the play at a ruined castle on Gotland, Sweden.

Director: Thomas Segerström
Stars: Peter Sundberg, Karin Holmberg, Bert Rolfart
Short | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Levente Kiss
Stars: Zoltán Csúcs, Judit Fodor, István Kajtár
Macbeth (TV Short 1990)
Animation | Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play, this animated version looks at the life and death of the Scottish hero-turned-villain Macbeth.

Director: John Croezen
Stars: Herman Finkers, Wilfried Finkers, Keith Bisset


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »




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  »

Did You Know?


Version of Siberian Lady Macbeth (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by Simple Simon
17 April 2014 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

A fortune teller predicts a rapid, bloody rise to the top for a mid- level mobster and it soon comes to pass with a little help from the goon's ambitious wife...

I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time (still does, actually) but this underworld updating of Shakespeare's MACBETH was criminal in more ways than one and reminded me of those "Classics Illustrated" comics I had as a kid. "Simple" sums it up and a too-old Paul Douglas hammed it up shamelessly, coming off more like "Curly" from THE THREE STOOGES than the Bard's vacillating thane. The idea that the Chicago syndicate (at least I think that's what it was since I heard "the Detroit mob is moving in" at one point) could bump each other off left and right with impunity was only one of the film's many preposterous conceits but this low budget Brit noir (a Columbia picture filmed at Shepperton Studios) still had its moments, nonetheless, albeit few and far between.

The classic tale's all there from "Banky"s ghost to the damned spot on Lady, er Lily, Macbeth's hands trotted out in "Cliff's Notes For Dummies" fashion and Ruth Roman as the power behind the crime kingpin's throne was, well, Ruth Roman. She's like Arlene Dahl, Faith Domergue, Rhonda Fleming, Debra Paget, and a host of others from that era: they knew their lines and didn't bump into the furniture but their acting rarely rose above "competent". "Decorative" was the operative word for these gals and most faded away once their looks went but Ruth actually made a pretty good character actress later on in her career. I understand an underworld-set MACBETH was tried again with MEN OF RESPECT in 1990 and it's gotta be better than this.

0 of 2 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: