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Macbeth (1971)
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  13 October 1971 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,498 users  
Reviews: 127 user | 46 critic

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

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Title: Macbeth (1971)

Macbeth (1971) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Stride ...
Nicholas Selby ...
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Paul Shelley ...
Maisie MacFarquhar ...
Elsie Taylor ...
Noelle Rimmington ...
Noel Davis ...
Sydney Bromley ...
Richard Pearson ...
Patricia Mason ...
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Storyline

Roman Polanski's version of Shakespeare's tragedy about a Scottish lord who murders the king and ascends the throne. His wife then begins hallucinating as a result of her guilt complex and the dead king's son conspires to attack MacBeth and expose him for the murderer he is. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | throne | tragedy | murder | guilt | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

13 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Macbeth  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming began with four grueling weeks in Snowdonia National Park. A cameraman was nearly killed on the first day when a fierce wind blew him into a crevice. See more »

Goofs

The lyrics to the song that Fleance sings at Macbeth's banquet for Duncan at Inverness are taken from the poem "Merciles Beautè" by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the context of the film this extraneously inserted song is itself an anachronism, as Chaucer lived in the fourteenth century and Shakespeare's "Macbeth" historically takes place in the eleventh century. See more »

Quotes

Lady Macbeth: All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand! Oh, oh, oh!
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

 
very good adaptation
15 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski's blood-soaked version of Shakespeare's Scottish play was the video version of choice when we were studying this at school, in spite of it having a nude Lady Macbeth and witches (and Keith Chegwin in the cast - he's Banquo's son).

Jon Finch has the lead and he is exceptionally good. Even a dagger which really appears to float before him (an effect not needed) doesn't spoil things. Odd that he never really got good movie roles after this. His Lady M is Francesca Annis, a spider of a schemer, also putting in a good performance.

Less adequate are Martin Shaw as Banquo, Stephan Chase as Malcolm, and Sydney Bromley as the Porter, although Terence Bayler gives good value as Macduff.

Perhaps this Macbeth is the first one to be truly cinematic, something that even Orson Welles couldn't achieve with Scots accents and Scandinavian settings. It remains memorable long after seeing and, in its excesses, opens up the text for a new generation, and finally, sees the repellent murdering usurper get what he deserves.

(Incidentally for perspective, the book 'Macbeth - man and myth' by Nick Aitchison looks at the real historic facts in accessible coffee-table book style).


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