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Joe MacBeth (1955)

Shakespeare (more-or-less) in modern gangster setting. Lily MacBeth pushes her husband Joe to rub out the reigning crime boss and become the new "kingpin" himself. Success is short- lived, ... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Hughes

Writers:

Ken Hughes (screenplay), Philip Yordan (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Douglas ... Joe MacBeth
Ruth Roman ... Lily MacBeth
Bonar Colleano ... Lennie
Grégoire Aslan ... Duncan
Sidney James ... Banky
Harry Green ... Big Dutch
Minerva Pious Minerva Pious ... Rosie
Philip Vickers Philip Vickers ... Tommy
Teresa Thorne Teresa Thorne ... Ruth
Walter Crisham ... Angus
Kay Callard Kay Callard ... Ruth
Robert Arden ... Ross
George Margo George Margo ... Second Assassin (as George Marco)
Mark Baker Mark Baker ... Benny
Bill Nagy ... Marty
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Storyline

Shakespeare (more-or-less) in modern gangster setting. Lily MacBeth pushes her husband Joe to rub out the reigning crime boss and become the new "kingpin" himself. Success is short- lived, however, as he confronts Lennie, a mobster whose father and wife are Joe's murder victims. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gangland's No. 2 Killer!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Legion der Hölle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Macbeth (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by Simple Simon
17 April 2014 | by melvelvit-1See all my reviews

A fortune teller predicts a rapid, bloody rise to the top for a mid- level mobster and it soon comes to pass with a little help from the goon's ambitious wife...

I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time (still does, actually) but this underworld updating of Shakespeare's MACBETH was criminal in more ways than one and reminded me of those "Classics Illustrated" comics I had as a kid. "Simple" sums it up and a too-old Paul Douglas hammed it up shamelessly, coming off more like "Curly" from THE THREE STOOGES than the Bard's vacillating thane. The idea that the Chicago syndicate (at least I think that's what it was since I heard "the Detroit mob is moving in" at one point) could bump each other off left and right with impunity was only one of the film's many preposterous conceits but this low budget Brit noir (a Columbia picture filmed at Shepperton Studios) still had its moments, nonetheless, albeit few and far between.

The classic tale's all there from "Banky"s ghost to the damned spot on Lady, er Lily, Macbeth's hands trotted out in "Cliff's Notes For Dummies" fashion and Ruth Roman as the power behind the crime kingpin's throne was, well, Ruth Roman. She's like Arlene Dahl, Faith Domergue, Rhonda Fleming, Debra Paget, and a host of others from that era: they knew their lines and didn't bump into the furniture but their acting rarely rose above "competent". "Decorative" was the operative word for these gals and most faded away once their looks went but Ruth actually made a pretty good character actress later on in her career. I understand an underworld-set MACBETH was tried again with MEN OF RESPECT in 1990 and it's gotta be better than this.


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