7.5/10
10,167
134 user 63 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Macbeth (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that ... See full summary »

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy
Cul-De-Sac (1966)
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife in search of help, however, under the point of a gun nothing is what it seems.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander
Tess (1979)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A strong-willed young peasant girl becomes the affection of two men.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A noted professor and his dim-witted apprentice fall prey to their inquiring vampires, while on the trail of the ominous damsel in distress.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Alfie Bass
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
Che? (1972)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed ... See full summary »

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome, Hugh Griffith
The Tenant (1976)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas
Repulsion (1965)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson
Oliver Twist (2005)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Barney Clark, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Swift
Macbeth I (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" set in the ganglands of Melbourne.

Director: Geoffrey Wright
Stars: Chloe Armstrong, Kate Bell, Miranda Nation
Frantic (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1971 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Macbeth  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Terence Bayler is dubbed. See more »

Goofs

The poster for the film shows Martin Shaw, who plays Banquo. He is dressed as the king. Banquo never becomes king though the three witches do however state that his heirs will become kings. See more »

Quotes

Macbeth: To know my deed 'twere best not know myself.
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth I: The Politics of Power (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Medieval accuracy, good Shakespeare
31 December 2004 | by (Longmeadow, MA) – See all my reviews

A few years after this was released in the USA, I convinced my high school English teacher to take our class to see it. (In the days before videos & vcr's, this involved renting a theater and print.) I was glad I did. It is certainly the most real and immediate filmed version of the play. The sets, costumes (or lack thereof), and casting all work to create an accurate depiction of "nasty, brutal, and short" 11th century life. And of course, there is the wonderful insight of Shakespeare's language to engage our modern sensibilities.

One can only thank Polanski for casting such relatively young actors as his leads. Kings lived and died young then, and had to be both excellent generals as well as administrators to succeed. Jon Finch is both athletic and impassioned enough to carry off the soldiering, and young and introspective enough to be moved by his wife both as a woman and co-conspirator. Of course Francesca Annis made a splash by doing the mad scene in the nude--but in medieval times, everyone slept in the nude, so it was certainly accurate to the times.

And as has been noted before, at least the castle keeps are cold, dark, and dirty. The communal sleeping arrangements, straw bedding, flaring smoky torches, seeping walls, and muddy yards all contribute to the historical accuracy of this production. The exterior of Bamburgh also works. And keeping with Shakespeare's light vs. dark metaphors, the mist, rain, and lowering skies combine to enhance the mood.

What happens in this "Macbeth" is as realistic as possible. So what happens offstage in the play, happens onstage in the film: the murders of Duncan, Banquo, Macduff's family. Murder is nasty and bloody and Polanski (having much experience of its results) makes sure we know it. Medieval Scotland was nasty and bloody as well, and if the film is accurate in depicting its setting, why not the action? And only Polanski has an ending that hints that violence and ambition didn't die with Macbeth's overthrow. All said, Polanski's film still has the most accurate medieval setting, engaging performance(s), and thrilling battles.

PS. For those interested in the real historical Macbeth, read Dorothy Dunnett's excellent biographical novel "King Hereafter". Dunnett is world renowned for her historical accuracy, and did much research to create not only a very plausible rendition, but a thoroughly interesting and entertaining story as well.


59 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page