Cover image for Macbeth
Braunsberg, Andrew.
Uniform Title:
Macbeth (Motion picture : 1971)
[DVD version].
Publication Information:
Burbank, Calif. : Columbia Tristar Home Video, [1987]

Physical Description:
1 videodisc (140 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
A classic tragedy about the lust for power and its ultimate bloody consequences. Macbeth is a Scottish war hero whose insane ambition unleashes a cycle of violence. Prompted by the supernatural prophecy of three witches, Macbeth is then goaded by his lady into slaying King Duncan in order to assume the throne. He plunges further into murder and moral decay to keep the unsteady crown on his head.
General Note:
Widescreen version (2.35:1).

Based on the play "The tragedy of Macbeth" by William Shakespeare.

Originally released as a motion picture in 1971.

MPAA rating: R.

Special features: theatrical trailers.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 7870 Adult DVD Central Library

On Order



Perhaps William Shakespeare meant to have Lady Macbeth perform her sleepwalking scene in the nude -- it was this X-rated scene and the film's much-publicized spurts of violence, rather than the brilliant performances of Jon Finch as Macbeth and Francesca Annis as his Lady, that lured crowds to Roman Polanski's 1972 adaptation of Macbeth. Only a few critics glommed onto the most impressive aspect of Polanski's version: as Macbeth and his wife sink deeper and deeper into the morass of their murderous ambitions, they age and wither before our eyes (Shakespeare's play does cover several years, but this is usually forgotten or ignored by many actors and directors). Macbeth was financed and released by Playboy, which naturally necessitated a fold-out spread on "the witches of Cawdor." The original Shakespearean text was adapted for the screen by Polanski and Kenneth Tynan. Despite an excellent first week, Macbeth ended up in the red, compelling Hugh Hefner to think twice about future motion-picture projects. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Shakespeare purists howled when it debuted, but Roman Polanski's earthy film adaptation of the Bard's violent tale of treachery and murder is bloody good. For running time's sake, understandable cuts have been made to the original text. Ominous location shooting and interior monologs in lieu of soliloquies make for a naturalistic movie instead of a filmed play. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis scare as the scheming power couple. Digital restoration ("Out, damned spots") and ample extras make this new edition fit for a king. [See Trailers, LJ 8/14.] (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.