6.6/10
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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 »
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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

Dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Evelyn Jarman. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Prospero, the Right Duke of Milan: ...We are such stuff/As dreams are made on, and our little life/Is rounded with a sleep.
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 (1980) 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

 
Shakespeare on a Trip
24 November 2012 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines."

Those are the directions that Hamlet gives the players on how to perform the Mousetrap. While the rhythms of Elizabethan English are difficult for Americans, they seems to come naturally for British actors, and those here perform it well enough.

The problems with this production arise, as they often do for THE TEMPEST, from the director's efforts to make it visually striking. Because of the magic that lies at the heart of Shakespeare's autumnal work, its gorgeous language has fallen prey to people who think the best way to stage it is to think what Quentin Crisp would sneer at as too camp and turn it up a couple of notches. One Shakespeare in the Park staging required a dozen people to play Ariel, including a Sumo wrestler; and Peter Greenaway's gloss on the play, PROSPERO'S BOOK, is so bad that when I saw it with some friends, I disrupted the occasion by guffawing at the over-the-top images. They show up here, too.

What all these geniuses fail to realize is that the play is a boy-meets-girl story, something Shakespeare wrote several dozen times. At its core is a coming-of-age story for Miranda, an adolescent girl who is old enough to leave her father. She is confronted by various male archetypes before settling on the only boy her own age. The Bard of Avon's message is so normal, that like should marry like, that youth calls to youth and that Show Business is the process of taking these ordinary and important stories and making us pay for them by wrapping them in mystery ... well, so normal that people miss the point.

The play's real magic is the story of Rapunzel and Snow White and all the other fairy tales which Bruno Bettelheim has shredded to show their symbolic content. That and the language. These should be enough for anyone like me, who cares for these things. It's too bad that the people who produced this version either don't care about Shakespeare or think that no normal person will.


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