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Prospero's Books (1991)

 -  Fantasy | Drama  -  30 August 1991 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 4,516 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 18 critic

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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Title: Prospero's Books (1991)

Prospero's Books (1991) on IMDb 6.9/10

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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 ...
Michel Blanc ...
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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 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:

Fantasy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 August 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Prospero's Books  »

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 »

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User Reviews

Brilliant, but not an easy watch
8 November 1998 | by (Budapest) – See all my reviews

Peter Greenaway is one of the great filmmakers, with an original and personal vision. This movie is a marvelous mixture of Shakespeare, visual poetry, music, art ... a feast for the imagination.

Having said that, I must add that I watched it with my wife whose succinct comment was "pretentious". Well, yes, it is a little pretentious, and there are spots that move along too slowly, so you can't just "let it happen" as you do with most movies. This one requires you to pay attention.

It includes what must be the longest single pan to the side ever filmed. I'm not sure how long it was, but it went on forever. I guess it must have gone more than 360 degrees, circled back to the original spot, where new sets had replaced the old. I'm not sure. But it is dazzling. Actually, you can take virtually any frame from this movie and make it into a poster.

Films have been around for about a century, and there isn't much around that doesn't recycle old material. Peter Greenaway is an exception. Like him or not, he's a dyed-in-the-wool original.


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