Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Roman Polanski's version of Shakespeare's tragedy about a Scottish lord who murders the king and ascends the throne. His wife then begins hallucinating as a result of her guilt complex and the dead king's son conspires to attack Macbeth and expose him for the murderer he is.Written by
Jason Ihle <email@example.com>
The lyrics to the song that Fleance sings at Macbeth's banquet for Duncan at Inverness are taken from the poem "Merciles Beautè" by Geoffrey Chaucer. See more »
Whenever characters ride their horses, the film foleys in the sound of horse hooves running on cobblestones or some other hard unyielding surface. This sound appears even when it doesn't make sense, like at the start of the film when the horses are running across wet sand on a beach. See more »
Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.
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Roman Polanski's blood-soaked version of Shakespeare's Scottish play was the video version of choice when we were studying this at school, in spite of it having a nude Lady Macbeth and witches (and Keith Chegwin in the cast - he's Banquo's son).
Jon Finch has the lead and he is exceptionally good. Even a dagger which really appears to float before him (an effect not needed) doesn't spoil things. Odd that he never really got good movie roles after this. His Lady M is Francesca Annis, a spider of a schemer, also putting in a good performance.
Less adequate are Martin Shaw as Banquo, Stephan Chase as Malcolm, and Sydney Bromley as the Porter, although Terence Bayler gives good value as Macduff.
Perhaps this Macbeth is the first one to be truly cinematic, something that even Orson Welles couldn't achieve with Scots accents and Scandinavian settings. It remains memorable long after seeing and, in its excesses, opens up the text for a new generation, and finally, sees the repellent murdering usurper get what he deserves.
(Incidentally for perspective, the book 'Macbeth - man and myth' by Nick Aitchison looks at the real historic facts in accessible coffee-table book style).
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