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

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  13 October 1971 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 8,228 users  
Reviews: 131 user | 53 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 7.5/10

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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:

warrior | king | throne | tragedy | murder | See All (120) »

Genres:

Drama | War

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  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In her memoirs Marianne Faithfull recalls screen testing for the role of Lady Macbeth at the request of Roman Polanski. However when her heroin use became obvious to Polanski during the test she lost the role. See more »

Goofs

When Macbeth dines after Banquo's death, time freezes for 5-10 seconds as Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost sitting at the table. This is achieved by the other actors freezing in place until Macbeth drops his chalice. During the time freeze, a man sitting at the table and facing the camera blinks his eyes. See more »

Quotes

Macbeth: [after slaying someone in battle] Thou wast born of woman!
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1915) 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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