6.6/10
842
17 user 15 critic

The Tempest (1979)

Banished to a forsaken island, the Right Duke of Milan and Sorcerer Prospero gets the chance to take his revenge on the King of Naples with the assistance of his airy spirit-servant, Ariel.

Director:

Derek Jarman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Bull ... Alonso, the King of Naples
David Meyer David Meyer ... Ferdinand, his son
Neil Cunningham Neil Cunningham ... Sebastian, his brother
Heathcote Williams Heathcote Williams ... Prospero, the Right Duke of Milan
Toyah Willcox ... Miranda, his daughter
Richard Warwick ... Antonio, his brother
Karl Johnson ... Ariel, an airy spirit
Jack Birkett Jack Birkett ... Caliban, a savage and deformed slave
Christopher Biggins ... Stephano, a drunken mariner
Peter Turner ... Trinculo, his friend
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Gonzalo, an honest councillor
Elisabeth Welch Elisabeth Welch ... A Goddess
Claire Davenport Claire Davenport ... Sycorax
Kate Temple Kate Temple ... Young Miranda
Helen Wellington-Lloyd Helen Wellington-Lloyd ... A Spirit
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Storyline

Banished from his grand duchy by the King of Naples and his traitorous brother Sebastian, the Right Duke of Milan and Sorcerer Prospero finds refuge with his daughter Miranda to a forsaken island. But when unexpectedly Prospero's enemies approach, with the assistance of his airy spirit-servant, Ariel, he summons a mighty tempest, leading eventually the King to the isle and his son Ferdinand to the prison. As a result, Miranda and Ferdinand will fall in love, while at the same time, a few survivors of the shipwreck wander the desolate island with murderous intentions. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Full of magic and surprises... the most truly spectacular British film in years. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1980 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tempestade See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Boyd's Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The role of Prospero was originally intended for an older actor and John Gielgud was approached but declined. It was then offered to Terry-Thomas but his failing health caused him to turn it down. The character was then rewritten as a younger Prospero and Heathcote Williams was cast. See more »

Quotes

Prospero, the Right Duke of Milan: Hast thou, spirit! Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade thee?
Ariel, an airy spirit: To every article. I boarded the King's ship... Now on the beak, now in the waist, the deck... In every cabin, i flam'd amazement.
Prospero, the Right Duke of Milan: My brave spirit!
Ariel, an airy spirit: Not a soul but felt a fever of the mad... All plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel! The King's son, Ferdinand, was the first man that leapt... Cried "Hell is empty and all the devils are here!"
See more »

Crazy Credits

Many Thanks To All Those Who Took An Interest and Especially... and All The Sailors Who Weathered The Storm. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tempest (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Stormy Weather
Written by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler
Performed by Elisabeth Welch
Arranged by Stephen Pruslin
See more »

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User Reviews

Earth, Air, Fire, And Water
22 November 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Into this primordial mix, add some seventeenth century magic, and you have Shakespeare's "The Tempest", a play whose themes are: freedom, temperance, repentance, and forgiveness. The main difference between Shakespeare's play and Derek Jarman's film is, of course, the nearly four hundred years of change in theatrics that separate the two artists.

Jarman's version tries to adhere to the play, in that the film uses quasi-Elizabethan linguistics, which renders the dialogue difficult to understand. The play's intent is still intact in the film, if a little obscured by the language, and is conveyed mostly through the acting and the cinematography, though "adapted" in style to a more contemporary audience. Hence, the film's inventive finale features a vocal rendition of "Stormy Weather", a modern metaphor for a message that spans the ages.

Even with the updated visuals, this film is going to be a bit much for most viewers. It is just too out of sync with what modern audiences expect. On the other hand, for those few who appreciate Shakespeare, the film can be insightful, with the proviso that it is not "pure" (or literal) Shakespeare.


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