An adaptation of Shakespeare's classic is set in the Mississippi bayous during the Civil War.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gideon Prosper
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Gator Man
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Captain Frederick Allen
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Wilfried 'Willy' Gonzo
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Mambo Azaleigh
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Sophie Dupree
Lonnie Hamilton ...
Rachel Crouch ...
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Lead Raider
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Raider
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Storyline

An adaptation of Shakespeare's classic is set in the Mississippi bayous during the Civil War.

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

13 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tempête  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Anthony Prosper: [Gideon is aiming his rifle at him] Do your worst, brother.
Gideon Prosper: That is the problem. You are my brother.
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Connections

Version of The Tempest (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Tempest
11 January 2005 | by (Guam) – See all my reviews

Jack Bender's "The Tempest" is an adaption of Shakespeare's play "The Tempest". Bender transports the plot from medieval Italy to Mississippi during the time of the American civil war. He includes the slavery problem and the role of revenge in wartimes.

Prospero, re-named Gideon Prosper is not the Duke of Milan but a landowner in Mississippi. He learns voodoo magic from the female slave Mambo Azaleigh. He saves her son Ariel, who thus accompanies him into his exile. The island is not situated on the sea but in a swamp near the banks of the Mississippi. There lives an Alligator hunter, a so-called "Gator-Man", who later tries to rape Prospero's daughter Miranda. During the time of the civil war, Ariel wants to join the Union troops to help fighting against slavery. Prospero does not care about the war. He is only interested in his personal revenge on his brother Antony. When Antony and his bookkeeper Willi Gonzo (Gonzalo) try to cross the river, Prospero raises a storm. The Union soldier Frederick gets lost in the swamp and finally comes to the island. He and Miranda fall in love with each other but Prospero won't accept that. Meanwhile, Ariel transformed into a raven by Prospero, finds out that Antony has feigned to ally with the Union but plans to betray them. Antony and Gonzo meet Gator Man in the swamp and conspire with him against Prospero. They kidnap Miranda and Ariel but Prospero freeze them and helps the Union defeat the Southern army. In the end Ariel is free, Frederick and Miranda are bound to marry, Prospero returns to the plantation and Gator Man gets back the island.

Peter Fonda represents Gideon Prosper powerfully and convincingly while the character of Antony stays rather flat. It was no bad idea to perform the Tempest before the background of the civil war but perhaps the director has risked too much. In some parts the story seems constructed or comical. Gator Man for example does just appear without any explanation. That it needs a kidnapping to bring Prospero to his mind and that he loses confidence in his power shows that Bender tried to make Prospero more human but only made him a weak old man without his magic. Prospero's original authority and wisdom is not made clear.

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