Macbeth (1971)

Drama | English | 140 minutes


The invasion of Scotland during the Middle Ages is suppressed by Macbeth, the Thane (a title of nobility) of Glamis and his ally Banquo. Riding back to the castle they are approached by three witches who predict that Macbeth will be promoted to Thane of Cawdor and eventually  be the future king. Back at the castle, Macbeth is awed when the witches’s prediction comes true and the grateful King Duncan promotes Macbeth, the victor in battle, to be the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth also remembers the  witches’s other prediction that he will  become king. He reveals this to his wife, Lady Macbeth, who  persuades her weak, good-natured husband that the solution is to murder the king. Macbeth does so and becomes king. Wracked with guilt, he and Lady Macbeth become emotionally debilitated. More threatening is Macbeth’s realization that Macduff, a nobleman to the king, is aware of what he has done and  seeks revenge. 

Jon Finch (Macbeth) / Francesca Annis (Lady Macbeth) / Nicholas Selby (King Duncan) / Martin Shaw (Banquo) / Terence Baylor (Macduff)
Why Stream This Film?
This film is more visually breathtaking, original, and searing than the recently produced The Tragedy of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 86%
  • National Board of Review: Winner, Best Film; Listed in the Top Ten Best Films of the Year
  • Macbeth received maximum 4 stars from film critic Roger Ebert
Director Polanski’s MACBETH is more interesting than if he had done your ordinary, respectable, awe-stricken tiptoe around Shakespeare. This is an original film by an original film artist, and not an interpretation. It should have been titled, POLANSKI’S MACBETH.
Roger Ebert

A masterful adaptation of a master play by a master director.
Ben Nicholson


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