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23 user 4 critic

A Performance of Macbeth (1979)

| Drama | TV Movie
Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a ... See full summary »

Director:

Philip Casson

Writers:

Trevor Nunn (conceived for television by), William Shakespeare (play)
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian McKellen ... Macbeth
Judi Dench ... Lady Macbeth
John Bown John Bown ... Lennox
Susan Dury Susan Dury ... 3rd Witch / Lady Macduff
Judith Harte Judith Harte ... 2nd Witch / Gentlewoman
Greg Hicks ... Donalbain / Seyton
David Howey ... Sergeant / 1st Murderer / Doctor
Griffith Jones ... Duncan
Marie Kean ... 1st Witch
Ian McDiarmid ... The Porter / Ross
Bob Peck ... Macduff
Duncan Preston Duncan Preston ... Angus
Roger Rees ... Malcolm
Zak Taylor Zak Taylor ... Fleance / Messenger
Stephen Warner Stephen Warner ... Young Macduff
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Storyline

Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a thirst for power, and with prompting from his wife, Lady Macbeth, he kills the current leader in order to take the throne. But he must continue to commit murders to keep his actions a secret, and soon, no one is safe. Written by Polly_Kat

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Also Known As:

Macbeth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was filmed on a circular stage. See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth/II (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
MY, there's a lot of acting going on here!
27 December 2008 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

This is a VERY theatrical production of Macbeth, with everybody rushing the camera, gargling in their own slobber, assuming contorted poses, wandering around aimlessly and generally beating the living stuffing out of the play.

In a theater it would rivet you to your seat. It worked in "Marat/Sade" and on stage it worked here. However the television camera mercilessly reveals a procession of theatrical strokes and tricks, and there isn't a human being in sight.

Wait, there is one exception. The late, great Bob Peck is completely emotionally honest as Macduff. When the poor man hears of the death of his wife and children, for one brief shining moment there is some communication of human truth. It's the best performance in there and he steals the show.

The rest, including Judi Dench's famous scream in the sleepwalking scene, is a triumph of artifice and directorial narcissism. This is the kind of horrorshow that gives the word "theatricality" a bad name.

It's like being locked in a closet with a bunch of loony puppets. Noisy loony puppets. This traversal is not a tragedy, it's kabuki, and misunderstood kabuki at that.

People who are impressed by a bunch of great names will marvel happily at the assembled starpower, but this is a misfire on just about every level. Avoid.


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