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King Lear (1971)

The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
King Lear
...
Goneril
...
Albany
Susan Engel ...
Regan
Tom Fleming ...
Kent
Anne-Lise Gabold ...
Cordelia
...
Edmund
Robert Langdon Lloyd ...
Edgar (as Robert Lloyd)
...
Fool
...
Cornwall
...
Oswald
Alan Webb ...
Gloucester
Søren Elung Jensen ...
Duke of Burgundy
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Storyline

The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's especially galling because he turned over his entire kingdom to them. Paul Scofield is an ancient, imposing shell of a Lear tormented by his too-long life as well as by daughters he calls "unnatural hags." At one point, the king looks his eldest daughter, Goneril (Ireme Worth), straight in the eye and declares, "Thou art a boil, a plague-sore, of embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood." These are the troubles not even the best-trained family counselor could ever hope to resolve. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1971 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Kong Lear  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brook based this production on ideas expressed by Polish theater critic Jan Kott in the book "Shakespeare, Our Contemporary". See more »

Crazy Credits

Not only is there no music in the film, but there are no "ambient sounds" at all during the opening credits, giving the impression that they were filmed using no soundtrack whatsoever. See more »

Connections

Version of King Lear (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Odd, perhaps awful, and amazing
2 May 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Much reviled at the time of it's release, this heavily cut, Danish

co-production horrified critics with it's bleak as possible take on what

some consider the world's greatest play.

Obviously influenced by nortic flicks from Dryer to Bergman,

Peter Brook shot this as a midevil horror show; and Pauline Kael called

it his "Night Of The Living Dead."

While certainly unfair to the scope of the Bard's vision, the

film is undeniably facinating; though sometimes tedious too. In the best

parts it comes alive with a vivid wickedness, you can certainly see how

Lear's daughter's came to hate his guts!

So, even if it does mutilate a classic, this film is pretty

amazing and highly recommendable. A dark product of it's own time, you

will scarcely see a Lear like this again.


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