Up 1,954 this week

A Performance of Macbeth (1979)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 611 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 5 critic

Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a ... See full summary »



(conceived for television by), (play)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 02 Mar 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 27 Oct 2013
a list of 31 titles
created 11 May 2014
a list of 27 titles
created 18 May 2014
a list of 29 titles
created 24 Jul 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Performance of Macbeth (TV Movie 1979)

A Performance of Macbeth (TV Movie 1979) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Performance of Macbeth.

User Polls

3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Macbeth (1971)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw
Edward II (TV Movie 1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The reign of Edward II, King of England, is troubled from the start when he brings his male lover, hated by the nobles, out of exile.

Directors: Richard Marquand, Toby Robertson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Timothy West, Diane Fletcher
Walter (TV Movie 1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man with learning difficulties suffers neglect and ill-treatment, and this is only exasperated when his parents die and nobody seems to know what to do with him.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Ian McKellen, Barbara Jefford, Arthur Whybrow
Hamlet (TV Movie 2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The RSC puts a modern spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this filmed-for-television version of their stage production. The Prince of Denmark seeks vengeance after his father is murdered and his mother marries the murderer.

Director: Gregory Doran
Stars: David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie
Macbeth (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson
Macbeth (TV Movie 1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Scottish lord Macbeth, chooses evil as the way to fulfill his ambition for power. He commits regicide to become king and then furthers his moral descent with a reign of murderous terror... See full summary »

Director: Paul Almond
Stars: Sean Connery, Zoe Caldwell, William Needles
Richard III (1995)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming king staged in an alternative fascist England setting.

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent
Country Matters (TV Mini-Series 1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Stars: Peter Firth, Ian McKellen, Prunella Ransome
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two minor characters from the play, "Hamlet" stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them.

Director: Tom Stoppard
Stars: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss
Hamlet (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director: Laurence Olivier
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie
Bleak House (TV Mini-Series 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th-century English legal system

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan
Hamlet I (TV Movie 1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: David Giles
Stars: Faith Brook, Susan Fleetwood, Ian McKellen


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Bown ...
Susan Dury ...
Judith Harte ...
David Howey ...
Griffith Jones ...
Marie Kean ...
Duncan Preston ...
Zak Taylor ...
Stephen Warner ...
Young Macduff


Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a thirst for power, and with prompting from his wife, Lady Macbeth, he kills the current leader in order to take the throne. But he must continue to commit murders to keep his actions a secret, and soon, no one is safe. Written by Polly_Kat

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »




Also Known As:

Macbeth  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was filmed on a circular stage. See more »


Version of Macbeth (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Primarily for ardent Shakespeare fans
11 November 2007 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

This is about as spare a production of a Shakespeare play as you are likely to get. It is really more of a reading of the play than a performance. It is listed as being in color, but the colors are so muted that I had to check that my TV was not broken, since it looked pretty much like black and white to me.

Anyone coming to this production cold is going to be quite confused and will most likely abandon the effort.

The acting is stagy - you might say that this film sets the standard for the definition of that word. This will definitely not be for all tastes. As good an actor as McKellen is I could never connect with him in this performance, though he does do a great job on some of the soliloquies, particularly the one ending with "it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." I was much more engaged by McKellen during his talks about the performance on the DVD extras than I was by his performance in the film. Dench's Lady Macbeth was too shrill for me.

There are some interesting innovations, like "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble," being sung as a Gregorian Chant throughout most of Act IV, Scene 1. Other scenes did not work as well for me, such as the opening shot where the camera pans around the circle of actors. Having some text describing the characters that the actors were portraying would have been helpful, but I saw little significance to this as it is. And the loud organ music I found distracting and inconsistent with the production.

There are some casting problems. Roger Rees as Malcomb, dressed in his knit turtleneck sweater, looks more like he just came out of a fraternity party than being the leader of a large army.

Purists will hurl stones at me for saying it, but I much prefer Polanski's cinematic. "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

McKellen is quoted as saying that this is Shakespeare on the cheap. I think that the statement "You get what you pay for," might apply here.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This movie might just be the worst movie ever made. splingaking
what does everyone think of this film ? FlorenceLawrence
trying to identify the music used vquinn-4
Discuss A Performance of Macbeth (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: