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Macbeth (1971)

The Tragedy of Macbeth (original title)
A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Roman Polanski (screenplay by), Kenneth Tynan (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Finch ... Macbeth
Francesca Annis ... Lady Macbeth
Martin Shaw ... Banquo
Terence Bayler ... Macduff
John Stride John Stride ... Ross
Nicholas Selby Nicholas Selby ... Duncan
Stephan Chase ... Malcolm
Paul Shelley Paul Shelley ... Donalbain
Maisie MacFarquhar Maisie MacFarquhar ... First Witch
Elsie Taylor Elsie Taylor ... Second Witch
Noelle Rimmington Noelle Rimmington ... Third Witch
Noel Davis Noel Davis ... Seyton
Sydney Bromley ... Porter
Richard Pearson ... Doctor
Patricia Mason Patricia Mason ... Gentlewoman
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Storyline

Roman Polanski's version of Shakespeare's tragedy about a Scottish lord who murders the king and ascends the throne. His wife then begins hallucinating as a result of her guilt complex and the dead king's son conspires to attack Macbeth and expose him for the murderer he is. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1971 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Macbeth See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 3 Channel Stereo (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The very first "Playboy Production" for the cinema. See more »

Goofs

When first meeting the witches, Macbeth follows them asking further questions as to their prophecies.One shot shows him nearing the witches as they each hurry down a small set of stairs, the youngest witch flashes herself at Macbeth and we see an angle change to see her hurry down the same steps and Macbeth directly behind her in the shot. the scene changes to show Macbeth standing in the same position as when the young witch flashed herself at him. See more »

Quotes

Macduff: Do not bid me speak; see, and then speak yourselves.
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating Adaptation
3 January 2005 | by DA-4See all my reviews

When the text is cut, folks like me hope to hear the rhythm preserved. Polanski and Tynan opted not to try to cut this way. However, what is remarkable about Polanski's film is that the images cut from the language are instead presented visually. Read the play just before watching the film, and you'll see what I mean. A great film for students who are studying, and reading, the play.

This is also one of the great efforts by RSC master fight choreographer William Hobbs, who followed this film with the comic fights of Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" films. On the stage, Macbeth's next-to-last fight with Young Seyward is often a "warmup" for the big finale with Macduff. Here, it brings the audience back to what characters had to say about "the noble Macbeth" at the play's beginning, before his descent. Hobbs plays Young Seyward, and is established early on, training men to fight. Their astonishing confrontation leaves you wishing Macbeth didn't have to perish.

As another reviewer noted, the DVD and VHS box art is a testament to Columbia Home Video's botched handling: they put Banquo on the cover by accident. The shot is from Macbeth's vision of Banquo and his sons, actor Martin Shaw wears a crown...you can see how easily the mistake could be made, especially if the person designing the art hasn't bothered to watch the film. But never fear, the geniuses at Columbia made it up to Jon Finch. There's a terrific photo of him as Macbeth in the final fight with Macduff. You'll find it on the back of Columbia's edition of Nicol Williamson's "Hamlet." When you're in marketing, I guess all Shakespearean actors look alike...


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