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Lady Macbeth (2016)

2:34 | Trailer

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In 19th-century rural England, a young bride who has been sold into marriage discovers an unstoppable desire within herself as she enters into an affair with a worker on her estate.


William Oldroyd


Nikolai Leskov (based on Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Alice Birch
1,897 ( 974)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Florence Pugh ... Katherine
Cosmo Jarvis ... Sebastian
Paul Hilton Paul Hilton ... Alexander
Naomi Ackie ... Anna
Christopher Fairbank ... Boris
Golda Rosheuvel ... Agnes
Anton Palmer Anton Palmer ... Teddy
Rebecca Manley Rebecca Manley ... Mary
Fleur Houdijk Fleur Houdijk ... Tessa
Cliff Burnett Cliff Burnett ... Father Peter
David Kirkbride David Kirkbride ... Edward
Bill Fellows ... Dr. Burdon
Nicholas Lumley Nicholas Lumley ... Mr. Robertson
Raymond Finn Raymond Finn ... Mr. Kirkbride
Ian Conningham ... Detective Logan


Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, whose family are cold and unforgiving. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband's estate, a force is unleashed inside her, so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violence, strong sexuality/nudity, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady Macbeth See more »

Filming Locations:

Northumberland, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,537, 16 July 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,129,408, 5 October 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,007,759, 20 August 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Screened as part of the inaugural Overlook Film Festival in Mount Hood, Oregon. See more »


A Cornish Rex cat first appears at 14:30. The breed first appeared around 1950. See more »


Boris: You've had enough time to contemplate, I hope, and to take the opportunity to meditate upon your duties as a *wife*, Katherine, in this household above anything else.
See more »


Remake of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002) See more »


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
German folk tune
Lyrics by Joachim Neander, translated by Catherine Winkworth
See more »

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User Reviews

Lust and loneliness
17 April 2017 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

If I were the producer of this film, I'd have chosen a different title. I'm sure lots of moviegoers are going to be misled: this film has nothing to do with Shakespeare. It's an adaptation of a novel by the Russian author Nikolai Leskov, set in early 19th century England.

The film seems to be a pre-feminism manifesto for women's rights. It shows Katherine Lester, the submissive wife of a wealthy but abusive landowner, living in a secluded manor in the British countryside. During a prolonged absence of her husband, she rediscovers her freedom and starts an affair with one of the stable boys. Not willing to give up her newly acquired status, she starts a series of increasingly extreme actions.

The interesting thing is how Katherine evolves from victim to culprit. She seems to have learned from her husband how to use and misuse power. The lack of social conscience of which she at first is a victim, becomes a driving force for her own behaviour. Her selfishness and lack of morality is so extreme that, in the end, she betrays innocent servants. The viewer has to shift his allegiances: at first, it's impossible not to sympathize with Katherine, enjoying a free life without her heartless husband. But halfway through the film, it becomes clear that Katherine is just as heartless, as soon as she is in power.

The story is filmed in a very effective, sober style with beautiful cinematography. The lack of any music is remarkable: some elongated scenes are striking because of the silence. The oppressive atmosphere in the manor is emphasized by the camera work. The camera repeatedly shows scenes from exactly the same viewpoint. Four or five times, we see the servant Anna entering Katherine's bedroom in exactly the same way.

As much as 'Lady Macbeth' is about gender, it is also about class. It is striking that Katherine, who as a woman is considered a lower form of human life by men, herself considers the servants to be a lower form of human life. She shamelessly uses them for her own purposes and enjoyment, but doesn't care at all about their fate afterwards.

'Lady Macbeth' is a beautiful film, about issues that even nowadays are worth thinking about. But I would have named it 'Lust and loneliness' - after all, it's set in the same period as the Jane Austen novels.

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