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Macbeth (1971)

The Tragedy of Macbeth (original title)
A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

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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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

13 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Macbeth  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski owned a painting by British artist Michael Worrall, which gave him the inspiration to make the movie. The second scene was based on this painting. 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

Malcolm: Let us not be dainty of our leave-taking.
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Connections

Version of Macbeth (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

An effective and stunning adaptation
13 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Polanki's 1971 Macbeth was a real treat. Before I watched it I was expecting to sleep for two hours like I did most of the BBC versions of Shakespeare films. This however brought a whole realistic and gritty, almost pulp effect, to the famous tragedy. I do believe that Polanski was ruminating over his recent trauma of the gruesome murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. And a great deal of his emotion is evident in the carnage of this film. However, Macbeth is a bloody story to begin with. I feel Roman was correct in revealing rugged Medieval Scotland in all of its bleak and grisly details. Jon finch is well cast as the ferocious thane whose personal insecurity and manipulations from his wife lead to his demise. Francesca Annis is correctly unorthodox playing Lady Macbeth with faint shrewdness and not too shrill. She is a perfect foil to her counterpart as she is both poised and stunningly beautiful. The fight scenes are believable without looking too choreographed. Polanski took artistic license a bit while wavering from the script and adding his avant garde effects. They are effective and help illustrate the play without deviating too much from the archaic language. This would not be a good choice for the squeamish, but for those looking for a bit of culture, history and film noir, Polanski's Macbeth is worth seeing.


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