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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 »
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Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
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 <email@example.com>
The scene in which Macbeth's thugs massacre Macduff's household was based on Roman Polanski's memory of SS officers ransacking his house as a child. See more »
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 »
If thou couldst, doctor, cast the water of my land, find her disease and purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo that should applaud again.
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Stirring and violent retelling of a classic Shakespeare story
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" (simply abbreviated "Macbeth" on most video covers) is a violent retelling of Shakespeare's classic story. Macbeth (Jon Finch), the Scottish Thane of Glamis, conspires with his wife Lady Macbeth (and three strange witches) to kill the widely-respected King Duncan. After committing the awful deed, Macbeth begins hallucinating, hearing strange omens of death and haunting words; his wife similarly becomes worried with Macbeth's bloodlust, and Duncan's son convinces himself that Macbeth was involved in some way with the killing.
"Macbeth" is a true tragedy, and chances are you already know a great deal about it as it seems to be a high school requirement that it be read by all students. The remarkable thing about Roman Polanski's movie is that it is not only a painfully accurate retelling of William Shakespeare's story, but doesn't flinch when it comes to violence.
According to IMDb's trivia section (and I can't honestly say how reliable this information is, mind you), Polanski included very violent scenes (such as Duncan's death, which is NOT detailed in the original text) because the movie was filmed around the same time period of Sharon Tate's brutal murder, and it was Polanski's way of venting stress and anger. One must imagine what happens to Duncan in this film is what Polanski wanted to do to the Manson family members (and you certainly can't blame him).
As such, knowing the circumstances of what brought about the violence, it is more forgivable and certainly maintains a haunting element - some kind of historical relic, just in knowing that it was filmed during such a terrible time in Polanski's life.
The movie as a whole is wonderful. As I mentioned above, its accuracy (in comparison to Shakespeare's text) is spot-on -- entire scenes of dialogue are taken directly from the source, and even the strong violence lends the film a more realistic nature.
Overall, it's an epic and (sadly) somewhat forgotten Shakespeare epic. If you enjoyed "Hamlet" or "Romeo and Juliet" (the '60s version) you'll certainly find this engaging, and - at times - rather shocking, too.
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