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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Macbeth" )
UK / USA 1971

It all seemed so clear. And at the proper moment, the forces of justice stepped forward, mocked the witches' prophecies which deluded poor Macbeth and set things right for the final curtain. There were, no doubt, those who thought the play was about how Malcolm became king of Scotland.

But in this film Polanski and his collaborator, Kenneth Tynan, place themselves at Macbeth's side and choose to share his point of view, and in their film there's no room at all for detachment. All those noble, tragic Macbeths -- Orson Welles and Maurice Evans and the others -- look like imposters now, and the king is revealed as a scared kid.

No effort has been made to make Macbeth a tragic figure, and his death moves us infinitely less than the murder of Macduff's young son. Polanski places us in a visual universe of rain and mist, of gray dawns and clammy dusks, and there is menace in the sound of hoofbeats but no cheer in the cry of trumpets. Even the heroic figure of Macduff has been tempered; now he is no longer the instrument of God's justice, but simply a man bent on workaday revenge. The movie ends with the simple fact that a job has been done: Macbeth got what was coming to him.

Polanski has imposed this vision on the film so effectively that even the banquet looks like a gang of highwaymen ready to wolf down stolen sheep. Everyone in the film seems to be pushed by circumstances; there is small feeling that the characters are motivated by ideas. They seem so ignorant at times that you wonder if they understand the wonderful dialogue Shakespeare has written for them. It's as if the play has been inhabited by Hell's Angels who are quick studies.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review at the Chicago-Sun Times located HERE


Theatrical Release: 13 October 1971

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DVD Review: Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC

Runtime 2:20:05

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles English, Spanish, Portuguese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer for Macbeth
• Trailer for Sense and Sensibility

DVD Release Date: May 7, 2002

Chapters 28


Comments The first 10 minutes show constant flickering and damage marks on the print, but once the film settles in, the image is very good. The progressive transfer is sharp and has a good color balance, but some outdoor shots are a little grainy. The original sound is adequate and the optional English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles are yellow.

I don't know why, but the DVD is quite expensive. The only extra is an original theatrical trailer. There's also a totally unrelated theatrical trailer for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility that shows Columbia's marketing department has no consistency or direction in choosing bonus materials.

 - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC



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