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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Macbeth" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/polanski.htm
UK / USA 1971

Roman Polanski imbues his unflinchingly violent adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy of ruthless ambition and murder in medieval Scotland with grit and dramatic intensity. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis give performances charged with fury and sex appeal as a decorated warrior rising through the ranks and his driven wife, scheming together to take the throne by any means. Coadapted by Polanski and the great theater critic and dramaturge Kenneth Tynan, and shot against a series of stunning, stark British Isle landscapes, this version of Macbeth is among the most atmospheric and authentic of all Shakespeare films.

***

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.

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

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 October 1971

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 726

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:20:05 2:20:26.459
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

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

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,957,694,109 bytes

Feature: 29,278,838,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio English 2229 kbps 3.0 / 48 kHz / 2229 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, Portuguese, None English, and 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
Keepcase

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,957,694,109 bytes

Feature: 29,278,838,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski, with 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Toil and Trouble: Making “Macbeth,” a new documentary featuring interviews with Polanski, producer Andrew Braunsberg, assistant executive producer Victor Lownes, and actors Francesca Annis and Martin Shaw (1:00:29)
Polanski Meets Macbeth, a 1971 documentary by Frank Simon featuring rare footage of the film’s cast and crew at work (47:31)
Interview with coscreenwriter Kenneth Tynan from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show (13:34)
“Two Macbeths,” a segment from a 1972 episode of the British television series Aquarius featuring Polanski and theater director Peter Coe (30:03)
Trailers (3:40)
PLUS: An essay by critic Terrence Rafferty

Blu-ray Release Date: September
23rd, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (September 2014) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray: Once again, where the SD looks more like 'video' - the 1080P looks like 'film'. I did notice a bit of contrast flickering (also cited by Gregory on the DVD) but it was mostly on the beach sequence at the opening. It settles down after that is quite consistent. The overall image looks quite gritty and stylistically true. The cinematographic process was Todd-AO 35 and does look extremely textured. It is not a particularly dynamic appearance but shows shade more information on the right edge. The 1080P Blu-ray is derived from a 4K digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski.

Audio is via a DTS-HD Master 3.0 channel at 2229 kbps. The audio is very important ion the production with 16 separate pieces by the The Third Ear Band. From Wikipedia: "The soliloquies are presented naturalistically as voiceover narration and without the unambiguous emotional subtext of a conventional musical score. Instead, the actors' voices are heard sotto voce accompanied by the atonal wails and drones of the Third Ear Band. As in his earlier Repulsion (1965), Polanski employs ominously unnatural silences and amplified sounds to create a sense of enveloping discomfort and dread." The lossless sounds very atmospheric and even the 3 channel separations are distinct. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

Another stacked Criterion BD with a fabulous a new (2014), hour-long, documentary entitled Toil and Trouble: Making “Macbeth”. It features interviews with Polanski, producer Andrew Braunsberg, assistant executive producer, and former Playboy Executive, Victor Lownes, and stars Francesca Annis and Martin Shaw. It's fascinating and well worth watching. There is another documentary - Polanski Meets Macbeth, from 1971 directed by Frank Simon featuring rare, behind-the-scenes, footage of the film’s cast and crew at work. It runs 47-minutes and is a valuable insight into the director's process. We also get 13-minutes of The Dick Cavett Show (May 7th, 1971) with an interview with co-screenwriter Kenneth Tynan. Tynan is a legendary English theater critic, writer, wit, and outspoken opponent of censorship in the arts. He discusses the controversy surrounding his risqué musical play Oh! Calcutta! and the upcoming release is Roman Polanski's film. Cavett and Tynan begin by talking about the show's previous guest, actor, Jack Hawkins. Also, there is a 1/2 hour segment from London's Weekend Television's Aquarius series, taped on January 27th, 1972 and presented by Humphrey Burton. It is entitled “Two Macbeths,” and features Polanski and theater director Peter Coe discussing Shakespeare, Macbeth, and their respective productions' of the play - Polanski's film adaptation and Coe's stage version, The Black Macbeth, set in tribal Africa. Lastly, we have a trailers and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Terrence Rafferty.

I had never seen this - and I consider it one of the best Macbeth adaptations I've ever seen - totally engrossing. The Criterion Blu-ray provides a wonderful presentation and hours of extras. Another very strong recommendation! 

***

 

ON THE DVD: 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

 


 Menus
 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Covers

   

Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1, 3, 4 - NTSC

Criterion Collection Spine # 726

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray


 




 

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