6.9/10
5,645
82 user 22 critic

Prospero's Books (1991)

The magician Prospero attempts to stop his daughter's affair with an enemy.

Director:

Peter Greenaway
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Gielgud ... Prospero
Michael Clark Michael Clark ... Caliban
Michel Blanc ... Alonso
Erland Josephson ... Gonzalo
Isabelle Pasco ... Miranda
Tom Bell ... Antonio
Kenneth Cranham ... Sebastian
Mark Rylance ... Ferdinand
Gerard Thoolen ... Adrian
Pierre Bokma ... Francisco
Jim van der Woude Jim van der Woude ... Trinculo
Michiel Romeyn Michiel Romeyn ... Stephano
Orpheo Orpheo ... Ariel
Paul Russell Paul Russell ... Ariel
James Thierrée James Thierrée ... Ariel (as James Thiérrée)
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Storyline

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The Tempest'. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A magician's spell, the innocence of young love and a dream of revenge unite to create a tempest.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Netherlands | France | Italy | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1991 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Última Tempestade See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,750,301
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The idea of Prospero's library including twenty-four books was based on the famous saying by Jean-Luc Godard that "cinema is truth twenty-four times a second". See more »

Alternate Versions

The German DVD version has two title cards before the opening credits explaining prior events and the premise of the film. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tempest (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Prospero's Magic
Written by Michael Nyman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A notable work, but come prepared
12 February 2001 | by asuSee all my reviews

I was absolutely in awe the first time I saw this film, but haven't really been able to sit through it again (its mainly the shoddy VHS I own), but I plan to give it the time it deserves. First off, I love Shakespeare, and I knew the Tempest fairly well before seeing this. I can imagine enjoying it fresh, but honestly, its main pts are for those familiar with the play. That said, Greenway has created a grand piece of artwork with this film. I love plot, I miss it often (and its often missing these days), but I equally enjoy works that don't use it or go beyond it. The visuals are lush, and Michael Nyman's score is fantastic...Prospero's Books is more experience than story, like a painting or a song.

Understandbly, Greenway is one of those filmmakers whose audience should be prepared for something different than the regular fare. I have a feeling my own attachment to the source material may be casting the film more glowingly than it deserves. The play has its flaws too, but for someone who takes the time it certainly rewards you well.

I'll comment on the nudity, very briefly. Sex, sensuality, and natural forms are three things that can be very differently perceived, and Prospero's Books deals with it in an adult (as in mature) manner, come that way and you'll be fine.


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