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3.8
450 Ratings

Macbeth

Directed by Orson Welles
United States, 1948
Drama, History, War

Synopsis

In fog-dripping, barren and macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that makes him king. But he does not enjoy his newfound, dearly-won kingship. Restructured, but all the dialogue is Shakespeare’s.

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Macbeth Directed by Orson Welles
Macbeth (1948), an interesting mixture of theatricality and cinematic inventiveness, is fine but not Welles’s best Shakespeare adaptation. As an example of how to make good use of a cheap production and abandoned sets it is rather impressive however.
October 04, 2018
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As with the wartime Shakespeare adaptations of Laurence Olivier, Welles’s film is rooted in the arch theatricality of the stage but livened by a shrewd calculation of the ways that cinema can enrich and imagine the Bard’s text. Lady Macbeth (Jeanette Nolan), for example, is regularly filmed from low angles, emphasizing the authority she wields over all those around her, especially her husband, who usually appears below her in the frame.
November 16, 2016
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Welles’ approach to the material is wildly neo-primitive and so expressionistic that one can never be entirely sure whether the action is taking place in interiors or exteriors; the same ambiguity persists in the spoken text, where off-screen internal monologue and on-screen external speech often seem only a breath apart.
January 01, 2016
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