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Macbeth (1948)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | 23 June 1950 (France)
In 11th century Scotland, nobleman Macbeth and his wife plot to murder the king and usurp the throne in order to fulfill an evil prophecy made by three witches.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
Malcolm
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...
...
Duncan
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...
Lennox
...
Lionel Braham ...
Siward
Archie Heugly ...
Young Siward
Jerry Farber ...
Fleance
Christopher Welles ...
Macduff Child
...
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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Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 June 1950 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Макбет  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles tried unsuccessfully to recruit Agnes Moorehead for his Lady Macbeth. 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.
See more »

Connections

Version of Trettondagsafton (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Welles's first stab at Shakespeare on film
30 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

This 40s Macbeth is a Shakespeare adaptation with mixed results, created by and starring Orson Welles and released through Poverty Row studio Republic. The costumes are Scandinavian but the accents are definitely Scottish.

Welles is good as the Thane who becomes a king-killer and a tyrant, while Jeanette Nolan appears as the scheming Lady Macbeth. Roddy McDowell is a delicate Malcolm, while Erskine Sanford is Duncan.

The mood of the film is dark, drenched in fog, but the way it is filmed is pure cinema, giving the text new life. There would be better Macbeths but this one is certainly memorable and effective. Welles would go on to tackle Othello and Henry IV (as Chimes at Midnight).

While Olivier was making his mark as a Shakespearian actor/director in British film, Welles was certainly doing the same in the USA. This film stands for all the work which he started and never finished, and is a good example of what he could achieve when at his best.


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