British Universities Film & Video Council

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Macbeth

Alternative title
Tragedy of Macbeth
Synopsis
Feature film. Haunting and unsparing in the realism, Polanski’s unique and pessimistic vision confronts both the dark comic elements and terror of the play’s violence. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis are the Macbeths.

The Criterion Blu-Ray edition (2016, UK Region 2) features numerous extras, including the following: ‘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; ‘Polanski Meets Macbeth’, a 1971 documentary by Frank Simon featuring rare footage of the film’s cast and crew at work; Interview with coscreenwriter Kenneth Tynan from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show; ‘Two Macbeths,' a segment from a 1972 episode of the British television series Aquarius featuring Polanski and theater director Peter Coe. Also includes an essay by critic Terrence Rafferty
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1971
Duration
140 mins; 12,639 feet

Credits

Director
Roman Polanski
Producer
Andrew Braunsberg
Cinematographer
Gilbert Taylor
Writer
William Shakespeare
Screenplay
Kenneth Tynan; Roman Polanski
Music
Third Ear Band
Costume
Anthony Mendelson
Art Direction
Fred Carter
Cast
Jon FinchMacbeth
Francesca AnnisLady Macbeth
Terence BaylerMacduff
Stephan ChaseMalcolm
Martin ShawBanquo
Andrew McCullochMurderer (2nd)
Bernard ArchardAngus
Bruce PurchaseCaithness
Diane FletcherLady Macduff
Elsie TaylorWitch (1st)
Frank WylieMenteith
John StrideRoss
Keith ChegwinFleance
Mark DignamMacduff’s son
Michael BalfourMurderer (1st)
Nicholas SelbyKing Duncan
Noel DavisSeyton
Paul ShelleyDonalbain
Richard PearsonDoctor of Physic

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
Medieval
Plays
Macbeth
Subjects
Drama; Shakespeare
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Polanski, Roman
Related items
Macbeth / Hamlet
Polanski Meets Shakespeare
Power and Corruption

Notes

Notes
Budget $2.5, c60% came from the executive producer Hugh Hefner.
General
Filmed on location in Snowdonia National Park and at Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne Castle.
History
Released on Blu-ray as part of Criterion Collection 2016.
Awards
BAFTA Film Award 1973 - Best Costume Design
Reviews
Interview with Polanski on the making of the film, and his reactions to its critics, in Playboy (December 1971), pp. 33-5.

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds a photocopy of a screenplay (copy made 28 February 1972).

Production Company

Name

Caliban Films

Name

Criterion Films

Email
http://www.criterion.com/order_support
Web
http://www.criterion.com/ External site opens in new window
Address
Attn: Jon Mulvaney
215 Park Avenue South, Fifth Floor
New York
NY
10003
USA
Name

Playboy Productions

Distributor

Name

Sony BMG

Web
http://www.sonybmgmusic.co.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7384 7500
Address
Bedford House
69-79 Fulham High Street
London
SW6 3JW

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

Record Stats

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