Scotland, Pa. (2001)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  22 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,880 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 66 user | 43 critic | 25 from

A modernized retelling of "MacBeth" set in 1970s suburban Pennsylvania. Joe McBeth, an unambitious hamburger stand employee, is driven to success by his scheming wife.


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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe 'Mac' McBeth (as James LeGros)
Malcolm Duncan (as Thomas Guiry)
Stacy (Hippie #1)
Hector (Hippie #2)
Jesse (Hippie #3)
Geoff Dunsworth ...
David Wike ...
Nicola Lipman ...


Joe McBeth is a hard-working but unambitious doofus who toils at a hamburger stand alongside his wife Pat, who has a significant edge in the brains department. Pat is convinced she could do a lot better with the place than their boss Norm Duncan is doing, so she works up a plan to usurp Norm, convincing Mac to rob the restaurant's safe and then murder Norm, using the robbery as a way of throwing the police off their trail. Though two stoners and a would-be fortune teller warn Mac that bad luck awaits him, he gathers his courage and goes through with his wife's scheme. At first, things seem to have gone just as Pat hoped, and after Norm's sons sell the restaurant to the McBeths (they pay for it with the money they stole from Norm), business takes off. But vegetarian police detective McDuff is convinced there's foul play at the new center of the fast food universe, and when the McBeths fear that fry cook Banco knows more than he's letting on, Mac takes charge in the plotting department ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What if the McBeths were alive in '75? See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some nudity, drug content and brief violence




Release Date:

22 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Listeia... sketi tragodia  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$43,366 (USA) (8 February 2002)


$384,098 (USA) (28 June 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An actual Halifax strip club (now closed) served as location for both the Scotland tavern scenes and the Atlantic City strip club scene. See more »


When McDuff is interviewing people in the restaurant, his glasses disappear and reappear between shots. See more »


McDuff: You really think that I would let Ed keep bullets in his gun?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This Film Is Dedicated to the Cast and Crew See more »


Version of A Performance of Macbeth (1979) See more »


Ready for Love
Written by Mick Ralphs (as Michael ("Mick") Ralphs)
Performed by Bad Company
Published by Badco Music Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Atco Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

A delightful, quirky twist on the Shakespeare tragedy!
27 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

The trouble with watching the Sundance Channel is that you can get horribly depressed. So many of the films are dark, forbidding noir that the channel comes with free coupons for Pfizer products. However, I caught Scotland, PA, and I gotta tell ya, I LOVED this flick.

The director asked himself, "What would MacBeth be like if it was set in a fast-food restaurant?" No, really. On paper it sounds like an insane idea, and I tuned in mostly out of curiosity. I was quickly delighted by this turn of fancy, which turns one of the uglier Shakespeare plays into an offbeat comedy. James LeGros plays Joe "Mac" McBeth, a downtrodden assistant manager of a hamburger joint, who can't get ahead because of the owner's vapid sons. His long-suffering wife, played by the wonderful Maura Tierney (E.R.), presses him to plot to get ahead and then rob the owner, Mr. Duncan (get out your Cliff Notes, kids). They wind up killing him by knocking him face-first into the frier, and Mrs. McBeth winds up getting a significant burn on her hand. And so the intrigue begins. Malcolm, the lead idiot son of Duncan, practically gives the stand to the McBeths, and they are a rousing success, living high off the hog (or the cow, in this case) until Christopher Walken appears as Detective McDuff, a vegetarian cop investigating the death of Duncan. Walken does an hysterically funny parody of himself, as if he's the only character in the movie who's in Twin Peaks. The prophetic witches get a makeover that is both weird, funny and strangely appropriate. I won't tell you any more, but trust me, for once I'm being serious when I say that you should tune in Sundance for this movie, or ask your video rental store to get it. The direction, acting, locations and deadly earnest commitment to the lunacy make it an entertaining movie for anyone to watch. Those who know the play will be rolling on the floor. And as much as I like Tom Stoppard and love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, this movie is far more accessible. I hope we see more work like this from Billy Morrissette, the director.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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