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A Performance of Macbeth (1979)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama
7.5
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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 »

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Title: A Performance of Macbeth (TV Movie 1979)

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Cast

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John Bown ...
Susan Dury ...
Judith Harte ...
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Griffith Jones ...
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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

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A Performance of Macbeth by William Shakespeare  »

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This was filmed on a circular stage. See more »

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Version of Great Performances: Macbeth (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Stunning
24 October 2004 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is probably "Macbeth" as Shakespeare really saw it produced -- no fancy scenery, no elaborate sets, just stunning actors conveying everything Shakespeare intended to convey by the power of their own speech and actions.

The defining moment for me is the banquet scene, where McKellan manages to go from icily cynical schemer to stark raving maniac on seeing Banquo's ghost, and then back again to schemer and then yet back again to broken, frightened shadow of a man by the end of the scene, without for a moment over-acting and without us, the viewer, even seeing Banquo's ghost.

The only false note I think the production had was Judi Dench -- as others have said here, she is of course a splendid actress and her sleepwalking scene was wonderful. But part of what drives Macbeth in the play is Lady Macbeth's threat to withhold sexual favors and her denigration of his masculinity if Macbeth doesn't act more "like a man" and go through with the murder of Duncan (conveyed in this version by her avoiding Macbeth's attempted kiss in the "milk of human kindness" scene), and frankly in this production Dame Judi lacked the sex appeal that would make this viable.

Still, a bravura performance and certainly the best Macbeth I have seen filmed.


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