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Macbeth (1948)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | 10 May 1949 (Mexico)
Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writer:

William Shakespeare (by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Macbeth
Jeanette Nolan ... Lady Macbeth
Dan O'Herlihy ... Macduff
Roddy McDowall ... Malcolm
Edgar Barrier ... Banquo
Alan Napier ... A Holy Father
Erskine Sanford ... Duncan
John Dierkes ... Ross
Keene Curtis ... Lennox
Peggy Webber ... Lady Macduff / The Three
Lionel Braham ... Siward
Archie Heugly Archie Heugly ... Young Siward
Jerry Farber Jerry Farber ... Fleance
Christopher Welles Christopher Welles ... Macduff's Child
Morgan Farley ... Doctor
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Storyline

In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that makes him king. But he does not enjoy his newfound, dearly-won kingship... Restructured, but all the dialogue is Shakespeare's. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Entertainment Greatness . . . That Only Motion Picture Magic Can Bring !

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Brainerd Duffield. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, you see Duncan in a crowd holding a lighted candle. The film cuts to a close up of Duncan and he is holding an unlit candle, the next cut back to Duncan in a crowd again holding a lighted candle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The ThreeThe ThreeThe Three: Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
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Alternate Versions

The uncut version of 107 minutes length has dialogue with full Scottish accents, while the more common originally released version of 89 minutes, while still making use of Scotch accents, has long stretches of redubbed, unaccented dialogue. See more »

Connections

Version of TV de Vanguarda: Macbeth (1954) See more »

User Reviews

 
Orson's Passion
11 July 2006 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

Lord Macbeth encounters witches that foresee his ascension to power and finally to the throne. Driven on by this prophecy and his ambitious and manipulative wife, Macbeth plots, betrays and murders to become King. This is Shakespeare at his most bleak, pessimistic and chilling.

Orson Welles, a lover of Shakespeare from an early age, would make three attempts to bring the Bard to the screen. Each attempt has the same strengths (ambition, performance, Welles himself and visual genius) and weaknesses (a beggar's budget). Of these three attempts (the other two being Othello and Chimes at Midnight), Macbeth is the least handicapped by technical difficulties, even if is the weakest overall.

Welles used borrowed costumes and unusual locations (such as an abandoned mine) and shot them in a staggeringly surreal way that greatly enhances the overall quality. As an adaptation, his Macbeth is very faithful in spirit, and trimmings in the text serve only to make it more cinematic and compliant with limited resources. Never, to the star/director's credit, does this feel like a "small" film. Rather, it is inspirational, and traces of it's genius can be found in Kurosawa's version, "Throne of Blood", shot ten years later.

Essential viewing. Especially for those in Europe who have access to Wild Side's beautiful new transfer of the full 115 minute version.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

10 May 1949 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Макбет See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mercury Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (premiere) | (restored video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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