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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 8,639 users  
Reviews: 131 user | 54 critic

A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes 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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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

When crew members suggested to Roman Polanski that perhaps the film was too unrealistically gory for its own good, Polanski reportedly replied, "I know violence. You should've seen my house last summer." 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: Receive what cheer you may. The night is long that never finds the day.
See more »

Connections

Version of A Performance of Macbeth (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Versions of a Shakespeare Play That I Have Seen
16 June 2008 | by (Indianapolis, Indiana) – See all my reviews

THE PLOT: Through ambition, greed, and the spurring of his wife a man rises to the ranks of King, but leaves murder, destruction, guilt, and a wide array of enemies in his wake.

THE POSITIVE: This is visually stunning from beginning to end. The photography of the Scottish landscape seems almost surreal. Although some may argue that the violence is excessive it is still well done and works in a nice lyrical fashion with the script. The gory special effects are very realistic and top anything that I have seen in any slasher movie especially the decapitation scene. The witches also come off as looking very frightening here. The scene in their coven where you see dozens of fully nude elderly women is grotesquely brilliant. This is one Shakespeare rendition that doesn't have any of the stiff staginess. The characters seem to be having real conversations and their lines are spoken in a much more natural way. Finch is absolutely perfect in the lead. The facial expressions that he show during Macbeth's different phases are fascinating and right on target. This would be a good version to show to teenagers and others who might not ordinarily be into Shakespeare. The action is well mounted and paced so anyone would be able to follow it even if they are not able to completely grasp the language.

THE NEGATIVE: Outside of a relentlessly bleak visual style that may be too much for some there really isn't anything negative about it.

THE LOWDOWN: This is the best film adaptation to Shakespeare's work that I have seen. It is exciting, graphic, realistic, visual, and captivating all at the same time even for those that may not be into Shakespeare.

THE RATING: 8 out of 10.


18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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