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King Lear (1971)

The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Brook

Writers:

Peter Brook, William Shakespeare (play)
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at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Scofield ... King Lear
Irene Worth ... Goneril
Cyril Cusack ... Albany
Susan Engel ... Regan
Tom Fleming Tom Fleming ... Kent
Anne-Lise Gabold Anne-Lise Gabold ... Cordelia
Ian Hogg ... Edmund
Robert Langdon Lloyd Robert Langdon Lloyd ... Edgar (as Robert Lloyd)
Jack MacGowran ... Fool
Patrick Magee ... Cornwall
Barry Stanton ... Oswald
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Gloucester
Søren Elung Jensen Søren Elung Jensen ... Duke of Burgundy
Edit

Storyline

The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's especially galling because he turned over his entire kingdom to them. Paul Scofield is an ancient, imposing shell of a Lear tormented by his too-long life as well as by daughters he calls "unnatural hags." At one point, the king looks his eldest daughter, Goneril (Ireme Worth), straight in the eye and declares, "Thou art a boil, a plague-sore, of embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood." These are the troubles not even the best-trained family counselor could ever hope to resolve. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Denmark

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1971 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Kong Lear See more »

Filming Locations:

Råbjerg Mile, Jylland, Denmark See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song sung by the fool at the end of Act III, Scene 2 is not present in Shakespeare's script. This song can be found sung by the fool in "Twelfth Night" in the closing scene of Shakespeare's script for the play. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
King Lear: Know that we have divided In three our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburthen'd crawl toward death.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Not only is there no music in the film, but there are no "ambient sounds" at all during the opening credits, giving the impression that they were filmed using no soundtrack whatsoever. See more »

Connections

Version of King Lear: Episode #1.1 (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forget the Oscars...this is acting!
12 January 2011 | by robertozerovSee all my reviews

As has happened so many times with the Oscars, another great film-actor-ensemble has been neglected. Recognised nearly universally as the ultimate test of an actor's craft, Paul Scofield as Lear in this 1971 version could be deified for his performance, even more complex than his Oscar-winning Thomas More in 1966's best pic "A Man For All Seasons". Viewing this film should be a prerequisite not just for R.A.D.A. acting students. Incorporating as he did the essence of Lear so organically, Scofield sadly was not even nominated, another nod to the lowest common denominator public taste. This review, nearly forty years after the pic's release, was an on-the-spot spontaneous impulse after yet another viewing of the film. People are afraid of Shakespeare(a.l.a. DeVere); don't be. All, but especially any pained by their own offspring, will turn away from the screen with much more than a penny's worth of thought and a rediscovery of the art of Paul Scofield and ensemble. It is a cliché, but they just don't make movies like this one anymore.


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