7.5/10
11,529
141 user 68 critic

Macbeth (1971)

The Tragedy of Macbeth (original title)
A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Roman Polanski (screenplay by), William Shakespeare (play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A noted professor and his dim-witted apprentice fall prey to their inquiring vampires, while on the trail of the ominous damsel in distress.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Alfie Bass
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
The Tenant (1976)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas
Frantic (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner
Oliver Twist (2005)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Barney Clark, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Swift
Repulsion (1965)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
Venus in Fur (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An actress attempts to convince a director how she's perfect for a role in his upcoming production.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric
Bitter Moon (1992)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After hearing stories of her, a passenger on a cruise ship develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic's wife.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A ghost writer, hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister, uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams
Macbeth (2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jack Madigan
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Finch ... Macbeth
Francesca Annis ... Lady Macbeth
Martin Shaw ... Banquo
Terence Bayler ... Macduff
John Stride John Stride ... Ross
Nicholas Selby Nicholas Selby ... Duncan
Stephan Chase ... Malcolm
Paul Shelley Paul Shelley ... Donalbain
Maisie MacFarquhar Maisie MacFarquhar ... First Witch
Elsie Taylor Elsie Taylor ... Second Witch
Noelle Rimmington Noelle Rimmington ... Third Witch
Noel Davis Noel Davis ... Seyton
Sydney Bromley ... Porter
Richard Pearson ... Doctor
Patricia Mason Patricia Mason ... Gentlewoman
Edit

Storyline

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 <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1971 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Macbeth See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 3 Channel Stereo (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski owned a painting by British artist Michael Worrall, which gave him the inspiration to make the movie. The second scene was based on this painting. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Macbeth: To know my deed 'twere best not know myself.
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth (1954) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A dark and interesting adaptation of a great play
27 April 2005 | by Blade_Le_FlambeurSee all my reviews

Adapting William Shakespeare to the screen can be a dramatically difficult task. His plays are visceral in writing and do not take the time, which novels do, to describe the visual mannerisms of the story. Thus, it is the job of the director (Roman Polanski), writer or writers (Roman Polanski, Kenneth Tynan), and cast (Jon Finch, Francesca Annis) to create a film out of plain dialog. "Macbeth" in particular is a very dark, visual play that requires a skilled level of film-making. In this regard, Polanski, Tynan, and Finch succeed in their creation of 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'.

The story of "Macbeth" revolves around a Scottish soldier named Macbeth (Jon Finch). After a gruesome battle in which Macbeth quells a rebellion, him and his brother in arms Banquo (Martin Shaw) encounter three witches. These witches give a prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Fife, and "king hereafter". Macbeth is confused but ultimately fascinated with becoming the king. When one of these prophecies comes true, Macbeth realizes that it's very possible he will become king. He sends a letter to his wife (Francesca Annis) explaining the events. Lady Macbeth fears that her husband is too weak to seize the opportunity, and manipulates Macbeth into killing the honorable king Duncan (Nicholas Selby) to seize the position. When this happens, Macbeth becomes king but everything fails. Strange events begin to happy in the castle at Scottland, there is mutiny in the ranks, and all of Scottland fears and hates Macbeth. In England two ardent followers of Duncan including his son Malcolm (Stephan Chase) and a member of Scottish royalty Macduff (Terence Bayler) decide that it is necessary to rid Macbeth from power. Consequences come to a head and ultimately everything leads to a violent conclusion in a bloody final stand between Macbeth and the English Army.

Roman Polanski has a history of making dark films. Whether it's the quiet and dreamy atmosphere of 'Rosemary's Baby' or the cool mystery noir of 'Chinatown' Polanski understands how such gloomy film-making can affect the viewer. In 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' Polanski uses this to create a large amount of tension in his story. The characters are violent and ruthless, and the language is a means of starting violent conflict. 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' may have struck a personal chord for Polanski as it was being filmed when his wife Sharon Tate was untimely murdered by the Mason Family. "Macbeth" is in it's own way a dramatic and violent tale, but Polanski accelerates the level of violence to sometimes gratuitous portions. Severed limbers are constantly show with bloodshed every which way. Part of the art "Macbeth" was Shakespeare's ability to convey the sense of increasing danger and blood using only words. There is one sword fight in the end of the play, necessary to filming but it seems Polanski took the major battle scenes and breathed life into them too much. The film has a murky visual style, as if filmed on a low budget. Interestingly enough, ipso facto this murky visual style is a component of the film. The low budget and dark visuals become sensory and contribute to the atmosphere Polanski was trying to form. The cast is able enough, providing the necessary traits to effectively project the dialog and language onto the screen. Most notable is Finch as the torn Scottish king, who's conscience ultimately betrays him.

'The Tragedy of Macbeth' may not be a brilliant adaptation of the popular play, but Roman Polanski has a certain amount of success in the way he films the ideas set out by William Shakespeare. It's too grotesque for it's own good, but in the end it's a solid and worthy counter-part. 8/10


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 141 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed