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The Tragedy of Macbeth
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Reviews & Ratings for
Macbeth More at IMDbPro »The Tragedy of Macbeth (original title)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Truly Shakespearian

9/10
Author: speakdeep (speakdeep@hotmail.com) from Belgium
10 January 2000

This Polanski movie remains very faithful to Shakespeare. I especially liked the original verses. On the other side it is very modern and uses very realistic, even gruesome techniques. It is one of the strongest movies I have ever watched.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Incredbile work of art by Roman Polanski.

Author: Jeff Parker (Film_Man) from Toronto, Ontario
23 October 1999

This movie adaptation of William Shakespeare's incredible story of Macbeth, the Scottish King, is portrayed excellently in this brutal, word-for word remake. The acting is superb, and the fact alone that Polanski had the guts to come out and make a film like this to be released to the public, shows that he knew from the beginning that this movie would be loved by his fans... and it is. Make this be the next movie you watch, it is a must for any fan of film, Shakespeare, or Polanski.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An excellent version of Shakespeare's tragedy

7/10
Author: Rosabel from Ottawa, Canada
17 October 1999

An excellent adaptation of one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. This production never stops moving, even during the soliloquies, which in other hands tend to bog down and betray their "stagey" origin. Jon Finch plays Macbeth with more resolution and calmness than I have usually seen in the role, but this fits in with the hard-edged, primitive society he belongs to. A man could not be a successful soldier in such a barbarous age if he were weak-willed and emotional. Francesca Annis is a great Lady Macbeth, self-confident and strong at the beginning, and finally breaking and crumbling into madness under the weight of guilt and fear she carries. This film better than any other production I have seen shows the hollowness of mere power; Macbeth begins his reign with all the outward signs of success, and through his crimes drives away or murders all the men of worth in his kingdom. Eventually he is surrounded by toadies and mediocrities, only to be deserted by them at the end, and left alone in his castle to face the army of his enemies. His final scene, from his haughty declaration to the attacking soldiers "My name's Macbeth!" as he refuses to run or hide from destruction, is a masterpiece of corruption, pride and insane courage, and Finch plays the part magnificently.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Polanski's Macbeth

Author: marialeosorio9 from Colombia
22 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As described by Roger Ebert, Polanski's Macbeth is a film which surpasses the interpretation of Shakespearean text to acquire uniqueness. In this film Polanski chose to portray Macbeth's point of view. By not forcing Macbeth to become a tragic character, he breaks with the traditional figure revealed through the work of others. In the end, Macbeth simply must face the results of his own actions. Additionally, the character of Macduff, normally portrayed as a heroic figure, is now simply driven by revenge. Polanski's characters result similar to Charles Manson because their actions are not determined through the use of intelligence but are the consequence of desires and violence. This originality, in contrast with the traditional versions of Macbeth makes the film incredibly interesting. However, given that this film lacks meaning, the question of why Polanski created this Macbeth remains. Finally, the visual aspects of the movie result so penetrating that one most focus on these instead of making a connection with the characters.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece Upon Masterpiece

8/10
Author: Boli Mkay from Colombia
22 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Roman Polanski has presented us with an unseen version of Macbeth. He is not the strong, glorious figure that has always been portrayed as. He is not the wise, reasonable man who finds solutions to any arising problems. Unbeknownst as a tragic figure, Macbeth is an unfortunate criminal that was (and excuse me for the cliché) "caught in the act", and thus his new life fell apart. To reinforce this idea, as Roger Ebert has elaborately noted, Polanski supports himself with a curtain of deeply shaded skies, accompanied by the bluntness of the character's mood. The result of all this is a cynical, darkly melancholic film that ultimately allows us no room for identification with the movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Everything you could ever want...well, maybe...

9/10
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA
2 October 2002

Violence, gore, political intrigue, sex, nudity (albeit in all the wrong places), a director (Roman Polanski) subconsciously working out his grief and horror over a personal tragedy (the brutal murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate by the Manson family), and released in the early 1970's by Hugh Hefner's film division of Playboy Magazine (yes, they actually tried to make serious literate pictures before resorting only to soft-core porn!). This is one Shakespeare adaptation that is deep...very very deep...and disturbing. It's got everything you want in a medieval melodrama...and everything you don't want, too. Not for the light-hearted (due to the gore and nudity mentioned so often in all the other reviews), and as depressing as it is...Polanski has still managed to craft some beautiful scenes of castles and countrysides and blood soaked battlefields. It's artistic...it's haunting...and it's got one hell of a decapitation scene in the end. 9/10 The recent DVD transfer does the film justice and is a must for Shakespeare fans and Polanski buffs.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Stunning Film!

Author: peacham from Pa.
30 April 2002



Polanski's adaptation of Macbeth is ,if not a perfect rendition of the great play,at least highly watchable and wonderfully filmed.Jon Finch turns in a very capable and realistic performance in the title role,and while he is no Ian McKellen,brings the human side of the character to brilliant life. Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth is totally convincing. determined,sexy and in control,she holds sway over Finch's proud general. The battle scenes are quite well done and the supporting cast,notably Martin Shaw and Nicholas Selby are very strong in their roles.Some key moments from the play are missing,but the final scene of the film makes up for it.Polanski adds his own twist to Scotland's uncurable sickness.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic story!

7/10
Author: S James M (scott.mathew@ntlworld.com) from Corby, Northamptonshire, England UK
21 April 2002

Polanski's film of "Macbeth" is absolutely outstanding. I don't like the play by Shakespeare that much but I must say that I loved this film.It is filled with gore and action. First of all Macbeth is told that he will become almighty "Thane of Cawdor" by the three witches,and they also tell him that he is to become the King of all Scotland. Macbeth is surprised and does not believe the witches at first but then he realises that if the witches say so then it must be true.He and his wife plan to kill King Duncan who is ruler of Scotland so that Macbeth can become the king. Macbeth does not want anything to do with the horrible deed and tells his wife that he will not kill his king whom he loves.Lady Macbeth (the brains behind the scheme)finally persuades Macbeth to kill his king. Macbeth agrees to murder King Duncan although his mind is telling him not to do the evil deed.Then Macbeth's mind starts to play tricks on him and he sees a dagger before him which is his mind telling him that he can murder King Duncan,it is the bad part of Macbeth telling him to do it and get it done over with,whilst his good side is still telling him not to do it. He finally creeps into King Duncan's chamber at night and murders the king whilst sleeping. Lady Macbeth had given the guards lots of alcohol so that they could fall asleep in order for Macbeth to creep into Duncan's chamber unnoticed.Macbeth stabbed King Duncan causing tons of blood to squirt out of his neck. Lady Macbeth puts blood onto the guards' hands to make everyone believe that it was the gaurds who had murdered King Duncan. Then all of a sudden the tables turn,and Macbeth becomes a ruthless killer whilst Lady Macbeth starts to feel guilty. And I'll leave the rest of the film for auidiences to watch. But take my advise,you wouldn't think that it was Shakespeare who wrote this because it's such a good film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Best Macbeth on celluloid

8/10
Author: Angeneer from Athens, Greece
29 May 2001

Roman Polanski did it again. He produced the most faithful to Shakespeare interpretation of Macbeth we have seen on the big (or small) screen. Great acting and scenery. Gore and nudity are absolutely necessary to get into the medieval feel of the movie. At some parts the limits of cinema are evident, when transcribing literary masterpieces. Only a theatrical play can bind the actor and the audience.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A very realistic portrayal of the way things were.

10/10
Author: MoonSphinx2 from Georgia
13 May 2001

I have just finished reading Macbeth in one of my classes and we saw this movie as a visual. Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth is very truthful in its portrayal of midevil Scotland. Blood and gore are not spared because it was a war filled time. Beheadings, bear-baiting, and superstitious beliefs were all common place.

The actors and actresses were well chosen for the parts, especially Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The witches are a riot! All the characters stick strictly to the original script of Shakespeare's play although the sililoquies may stop and then be picked up again later. The Porter scene is just as funny as it is intended to be and the murders as gruesome.

I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the play Macbeth or just want a good drama to watch. This movie is not for the squeemish at certain points, but after these climaxes the movie calms down again. Roman Polanski did a wonderful job.

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