English thespian Sean Pertwee plays the painfully ambitious royal who schemes to murder so he can ascend to the throne in this superior version of William Shakespeare's literary classic. ... See full summary »

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English thespian Sean Pertwee plays the painfully ambitious royal who schemes to murder so he can ascend to the throne in this superior version of William Shakespeare's literary classic. Spurred by the pressure exerted by his equally power-hungry wife, Lady MacBeth (Greta Scacchi), the Thane conspires to kill, but is so overcome with guilt that he's unable to wash the blood off his hands -- literally and figuratively. Written by Polly_Kat

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15 January 1998 (UK)  »

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Макбет  »

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Version of Scenes from Twelfth Night and Macbeth/II (1948) See more »

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succinct and edgy
2 June 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Don't look for Renaissance conventions here -- no swords, no head-on-a-pike at the end, no evil Lady Macbeth. The witches are true to the bard -- wither'd, wild, familiar enough to make them approachable, strange enough to make you wonder if you saw what you saw. I like Pertwee's Macbeth - even though I wanted more dogged intensity and 'aw-the-hell-with-it' doomed bravado. Scacchi is perfect as Lady Macbeth -- all blind Blond Ambition who, ironically, becomes sapped by constant blood-drenching (and they're they same blood-drenching that put that damned spine into Macbeth as the end draws near). Could have used a stronger Macduff -- I dunno, just call me a sentimentalist; I wanted to see that tough man reduced to tears.

All in all, a fine version -- much less silly than the Polanski tommyrot that so many people hold up as the ideal film of this play. I don't think that the definitive film version has been been made yet. Until then, this bare bones approach is best.


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