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      Macbeth

      1971, Drama, 2h 20m

      64 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Roman Polanski's Macbeth is unsettling and uneven, but also undeniably compelling. Read critic reviews

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      Macbeth (1971) Macbeth (1971)

      Movie Info

      Proud Macbeth (Jon Finch) and his power-mad wife (Francesca Annis) plot to murder King Duncan (Nicholas Selby) and usurp the throne of Scotland, despite the increasing suspicions of Macbeth's rival, Macduff (Terence Baylor), and his once-loyal friend Banquo (Martin Shaw). Roman Polanski directed this violent and sexualized revision of William Shakespeare's tragedy of madness and political intrigue, financed by executive producer Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine.

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      • Jun 01, 2022

        Shakespeare's play as a violent fever dream. This concept for "MacBeth" has been tried a few times but only Polanski seems to have pulled it off, likely because he cast professionals who didn't need direction on the language, leaving him to focus on the imagery.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jun 08, 2013

        In case you ever wondered what would happen if Polanski did a Shakespeare production, check out this movie, it's actually very cool. I loved it.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jun 08, 2013

        Shakespeare's dialogues may not be that accessible in these days, but Roman Polanski's rendition of his play about ambition wrapped within madness and paranoia is quite simply a great piece of cinema to behold. It's great to hear the deep, flowery Shakesperean words, but what makes this film much more than a screen adaptation of one of his works is how Polanski has made it: Full of imagery bordering insanity and nightmare, performances teetering between stagy rhetorics and tragedy personified, the pure green fields of Wales as the stage for the depressing sight of the lonesome Cawdor castle, and the painful, furious emotions seemingly incorporated by Polanski himself(wife Sharon Tate being murdered just years prior to the filming of this picture). Now, back to being "accessible", if I'm going to recommend a Shakespeare adaptation that can tell the story easily without the laborious chore of comprehending the playwright's complex language, then I'm going to say "Throne of Blood" by Akira Kurosawa, albeit it being set in feudal Japan. But if one wants to see the pure power of the play, heightened by a master filmmaker's great vision of Macbeth's slide into ruthless lunacy, then "thou shalt not look further". I do not know whether that came out sounding like one of the ten commandments, but there you go.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jun 08, 2013

        This is by far the best Shakespeare movie I've seen up to date. I loved every scene and actually laughed at the jokes I understood. =] If you read and enjoyed the play, the movie' is even better.

        Super Reviewer

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