6.9/10
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Prospero's Books (1991)

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael Clark ...
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Isabelle Pasco ...
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Gerard Thoolen ...
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Jim van der Woude ...
Michiel Romeyn ...
Orpheo ...
Paul Russell ...
James Thierrée ...
Ariel (as James Thiérrée)
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Storyline

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The Tempest'. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A magician's spell, the innocence of young love and a dream of revenge unite to create a tempest.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| | | |

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Última Tempestade  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,750,301 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prospero was John Gielgud's favorite stage role and he had attempted to mount a film of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" for decades, contacting Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman about directing and Welles and Albert Finney about playing Caliban. The version with Welles directing and playing Caliban was in preparation until the financial failure of Welles' and Gielgud's film of 'Falstaff (1966)' forced the project to fall through, where it laid dormant until Gielgud finally convinced Peter Greenaway to make this version. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tempest (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Prospero's Magic
Written by Michael Nyman
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User Reviews

 
A notable work, but come prepared
12 February 2001 | by (somewhere else) – See all my reviews

I was absolutely in awe the first time I saw this film, but haven't really been able to sit through it again (its mainly the shoddy VHS I own), but I plan to give it the time it deserves. First off, I love Shakespeare, and I knew the Tempest fairly well before seeing this. I can imagine enjoying it fresh, but honestly, its main pts are for those familiar with the play. That said, Greenway has created a grand piece of artwork with this film. I love plot, I miss it often (and its often missing these days), but I equally enjoy works that don't use it or go beyond it. The visuals are lush, and Michael Nyman's score is fantastic...Prospero's Books is more experience than story, like a painting or a song.

Understandbly, Greenway is one of those filmmakers whose audience should be prepared for something different than the regular fare. I have a feeling my own attachment to the source material may be casting the film more glowingly than it deserves. The play has its flaws too, but for someone who takes the time it certainly rewards you well.

I'll comment on the nudity, very briefly. Sex, sensuality, and natural forms are three things that can be very differently perceived, and Prospero's Books deals with it in an adult (as in mature) manner, come that way and you'll be fine.


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