IMDb > A Performance of Macbeth (1979) (TV)

A Performance of Macbeth (1979) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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William Shakespeare (play)
Trevor Nunn (conceived for television by)
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Stunning See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Philip Casson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Trevor Nunn  conceived for television by
William Shakespeare  play

Produced by
Verity Lambert .... executive producer
Trevor Nunn .... producer
Original Music by
Guy Woolfenden 
Casting by
Joyce Nettles 
Production Design by
Mike Hall 
Costume Design by
Lyn Harvey 
Makeup Department
Sally Thorpe .... makeup designer
Art Department
Ruth Bribram .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Julian Ford .... sound supervisor
Peter Woodward .... fight director
Camera and Electrical Department
Luigi Bottone .... lighting technician
Peter Coombs .... senior camera operator
Paul Stripp .... vision controller
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lyn Harvey .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Martin Perrett .... vision mixer
Fred Turner .... editor: video tape
Other crew
Betty Crowe .... stage manager
Myles MacMahon .... stage manager
Juliet Mander .... stage manager
Trevor Nunn .... stage director
Ruth Parkhill .... production assistant
Dave Sparks .... studio supervisor
John Wayne .... floor manager

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
UK:145 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This was filmed on a circular stage.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Throne of Blood (1957)See more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Stunning, 14 May 2002
Author: Donald Graham ( from Paris, France

The performance by Ian McKellen proves that he is one of the best Shakesperean actors ever (and I've seen all the famous ones on the stage). Macbeth is not a complex character, just a fine man sucked into a downward spiral by his ambitious wife, but Shakespeare gives him really magnificent poetry to speak (Tomorrow, etc.), and McKellen says it all breathtakingly. Actually, some of Macbeth's lines are very difficult to understand, and McKellen is capable of the ultimate actor's magic of making the lines seem quite understandable as he speaks them (they go back to being difficult when you contemplate them on the page). His representation of the descent into madness is extremely effective, even though he goes quite far in this. Exactly how psychotic Macbeth becomes is one important question in interpreting this character, and McKellen (and Trevor Nunn, who directed) decide to go all the way. The other actors are all adequate, no problem. Judi Dench is not entirely convincing as the evil-from-the-outset Lady Macbeth, really a caricature and not a fully developed person in the play (Shakespeare's fault, not Judi's). Dame Judi is just not an evil person, and can't make us believe she is. However, at the most crucial point, the sleepwalking scene in the last act which precedes her suicide, she rises to the occasion. Her wail in unforgettable. This was originally a stage production, done in the round with few props, fine for this play, which is about words (and faces), not about setting. It's great that someone had the idea of filming the stage production, and doing it so well that it's possible to watch it. For many years this tape has only been available to educational institutions for $250, so it's great that everyone can see such a stunning performance now. And its great that Ian McKellen has become better known through X-Men and Lord of the Rings (though it takes Shakespeare to display his true talents).

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