The Tempest (1979)

R  |   |  Drama  |  25 December 1980 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 661 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 14 critic

Prospero, a potent magician, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He's in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Meyer ...
Neil Cunningham ...
Sebastian, his brother
Heathcote Williams ...
Richard Warwick ...
Antonio, his brother
Jack Birkett ...
Peter Turner ...
Ken Campbell ...
Elisabeth Welch ...
A Goddess
Claire Davenport ...
Kate Temple ...
Helen Wellington-Lloyd ...
A Spirit


Prospero, a potent magician, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He's in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence brings these enemies near; aided by his vassal the spirit Ariel, Prospero conjures a tempest to wreck the Italian ship. The king's son, thinking all others lost, becomes Prospero's prisoner, falling in love with Miranda and she with him. Prospero's brother and the king wander the island, as do a drunken cook and sailor, who conspire with Caliban, Prospero's beastly slave, to murder Prospero. Prospero wants reason to triumph, Ariel wants his freedom, Miranda a husband; the sailors want to dance. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Tempestade  »

Box Office


£150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Evelyn Jarman. See more »


[last lines]
Prospero, the Right Duke of Milan: ...We are such stuff/As dreams are made on, and our little life/Is rounded with a sleep.
See more »


Version of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: The Tempest (1956) See more »


Stormy Weather
Written by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler
Performed by Elisabeth Welch
Arranged by Stephen Pruslin
See more »

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User Reviews

What is it all about?
29 February 2004 | by (Hattingen) – See all my reviews

The Tempest has been interpreted in many different ways ranging from more or less traditional views as dealing with Art to more post-modern approaches that like to dissect the play along post-colonial, feminist, gender or deconstructionist lines. The reason why Jarman's version left me fairly cold is that I didn't have a clue what he was on about. What is the underlying vision/idea/concept behind this rendering of Shakespeare? The previous reviewers do not get much further than revenge tragedy, punk show, but surely there is more to it, isn't there? This is not to say that there is no vision here, just that I was hard put to discover it. Be that as it may, there are still things to enjoy. The punk flavour is refreshing and funny. Toyah Wilcox as Miranda and Jack Birkett as Caliban are wonderful. I did not much care about Williams as Prospero ... not enough magic I suppose. The switches between the old monastery/castle and the (very English) world outside can be a little unsettling at times, but I guess that is intentional. All in all, interesting but not quite the success I had hoped it might be (particularly after seeing Jarman's Caravaggio).

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