MACBETH – Roman Polanski -1971

Number two in a series of six.

poster   - A Classic Review

MACBETH – Roman Polanski - 1971 adapted for the screen by Roman Polanski and Kenneth Tynan

produced by Playboy

First Witch - Maisie MacFarquhar Second Witch - Elsie Talyor Third Witch - Noelle Rimmington Macbeth - Ian Finch Lady Macbeth - Francesca Annis King Duncan - Nicholas Selby Malcolm - Stephan Chase Donalbain (youngest son) - Paul Shelley Banquo - Martin Shaw Ross - John Stride Thane of Cawdor - Vic Abbott Macduff (Thane of Fife) - Terence Bayler Lady Macduff – Diane Fletcher, Macduff's son – Mark Dightam,

Lenox - Andrew

Laurence, Angus - Bernard Archard, Ross - John Stride, Seyton - Noel Davis Fleance - Keith Chegwin


Ian Finch, Francesca Annis   - A Classic Review

Proving, once again, that incorporating cinematic technique can make any of Shakespeare’s plays more understandable and enjoyable, Polanski, brings formally off stage violence to the front, and has directed a visually stunning interpretation of one of the Bard’s most violent tragedies.

Ian Finch   - A Classic Review

Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Thane of Glamis and a General in the Kings’ Army, is a fearless and daring warrior who has just won an important victory for Scotland and King Duncan. Polanski uses the sounds of battle in voice over as the titles roll.

Maisie Macfarquhar   - A Classic Review

Upon leaving the field of battle, Macbeth, his friend and fellow warrior, Banquo, are each given a prophecy by three witches; Macbeth shall become king, but Banquo shall father future kings.

Ian Finch   - A Classic Review

Macbeth, however, knows that he can never legitimately be appointed king. Why that could not happen is a detail that both Shakespeare and Polanski make obscure until after he has been crowned - Act 3, Scene 1 - "Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip." –. The birth of their only child, which died soon after, left Lady Macbeth barren… they could never produce an heir. If he is to fulfill the witches’ prophecy…

Francesca Annis   - A Classic Review

........ they are left with murder as the only option. And as the tragic story reveals, it is murder that drives them both into madness.

Martin Shaw   - A Classic Review

Polanski does not have to resort to his imagination to see the world as grim and

threatening. Please remember, he is a child of the Holocaust and watched his parents being marched off to the death camps. He survived until the end of the war on garbage and stolen food.

Tate murder headlines   - A Classic Review

Exercising his prerogative as director, Polanski set up the character Ross as the betrayer who left Macduff’s castle doors open to the murderers. Some critics saw Polanski’s staging of the savage murder of Macduff’s family as a restaging of his wife’s murder just six months previously.

Scotish countryside   - A Classic Review

special FX   - A Classic Review

His movie is made even darker still by the camera work f Gilbert Taylor who took full advantage of the rainy, dark days that hounded the production.

Polanski resorted special effects lightening to further enhance his black mood. It’s doubtful that anyone, after watching this movie, will be booking a flight to Scotland soon.

three Witches   - A Classic Review

Following Orson Welles’s lead Polanski adapted a circular narrative style, beginning with the Witches' prophecies delivered to Macbeth and Banquo, and ending with Donalbain’s visit to their layer… possibly seeking to confirm his destiny. This ending is not part of the original play.

Ian Finch confronts ghost daggar   - A Classic Review

Taking advantage of film technique, Polanski staged the long soliloquies to be delivered in voice-over action, which focuses and holds the viewers’ attention.

Ian Finch, Francesca Annis   - A Classic Review

These narrative deliveries also help compensate for the cunning nature missing in both Franscesca Annis and her husband Jon Finch who were much too youthful for these black and demanding roles.

Roman Plolanski, Hugh Hefner   - A Classic Review

Roman Polanski tried to get funding from three major studios but they all turned him down; none of them believed that he was capable of directing a money-making Shakespeare movie. Polanski met Hugh Hefner at a party and Mr. Hefner agreed to put up almost two and a half million for the project.

Ian Finch   - A Classic Review

Once the filming got started they ran into what Polanski called “shitty weather”, which delayed shooting. England has notoriously bad weather in the fall, and it’s kind of strange that they would begin in October.

After about a month of losing money and putting up with Polanski’s whining about the weather, the financers - although they didn’t want to “murder” Polanski - did want to fire him. A second unit director was hired to shoot some of the scenes. To help ease the strain on the budget, Polanski gave up a third of his director’s fees and Heff coughed up another half mil.

Although the film was turned down by the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, it got positive recognition by the National Board of Review which named it Best Film of the year.

#RomanPolanski #KennethTynan #Playboy #HughHeffner #IanFinch #FrancescaAnnis #MaisieMacFarquhar #ElsieTalyor #NoelleRimmington #NicholasSelby #StephanChas #MartinShaw #JohnStride #TerenceBayler #DianeFlecher

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