HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Macbeth The Scottish Play
Year: 1948
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy, Roddy McDowall, Edgar Barrier, Alan Napier, Erskine Sanford, John Dierkes, Keene Curtis, Peggy Webber, Lionel Braham, Archie Heugly, Jerry Farber, Christopher Welles, Morgan Farley, Lurene Tuttle
Genre: Horror, Drama, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the dark days of Scottish history, there is the tale of Macbeth (Orson Welles), a nobleman whose life was changed when he encountered three witches while out with his right hand man, Banquo (Edgar Barrier). They spoke of a prophecy, creating an effigy in their cauldron that they poured all their foresight into and proclaimed that Macbeth would soon be King. This news surprised him as he had the notion had never crossed his mind, but after the meeting it began to weigh heavily on his thoughts, and when his wife (Jeanette Nolan) heard of this prophecy it was all she could do to encourage her husband to follow his destiny...

Orson Welles' version of Macbeth was very much done on the cheap, quite a change from his previous big studio movies and began a cycle of filmmaking for him that saw him working in reduced circumstances simply to get his visions onto the screen. Not that this was a success in its day, as the critics were not impressed with his adaptation of William Shakespeare's play, which he had tweaked in various ways to get it all over with in under two hours, and the stylised appearance which now looks so innovative considering how much money Welles was working with was denigrated as hopelessly cheap. Not to mention the accents.

Actually, they were right to criticise those accents, as they were pretty awful: Nolan's Lady Macbeth stands out as especially hard on the ear as the cast as a whole strangulate their vowels to deliver the dialogue. So that works against the overall dour and serious tone of the production, but it's not all bad as while you tend to lose interest in the way the lines are being delivered, the striking visuals carry some power. The set design, mostly towering papier maché rocks and staircases fashioned to Welles' specifications, looks as if the actors are participating in some kind of caveman epic, yet goes some way to contributing to the primitive and godless atmosphere.

As for the director's performance, he makes for a curiously weak-willed Macbeth in spite of his bluster and the actor's physical presence, buffetted along by fate, his misplaced self-importance and the urgings of his wife. Once he knows he has to take the throne, he never considers the damage it might do him until it is too late and finally the guilt at all that death he has instigated begins to weigh heavily on his shoulders, and if there's one thing that Welles does convey strongly it's the remorse that arrives after the ghastly deeds are done. Key scenes are all present and correct, so the murder of Duncan (Erskine Sanford) is depicted with appropriate glowering, and Banquo's ghost arrives with a simple but arresting visual trick.

Welles invented a whole new character for this adaptation, the Holy Father played by Alan Napier, and messing around with the classics did not endear him to the cognoscenti of the day. Not only that, but he displays a love of the dramatic flourish which sees certain characters meeting their demises arranged with truly theatrical melodrama. But not so theatrical that you settle into watching a drily filmed stage play, as he kept his camera mobile and worked up an array of moody, misty scenes that held the eye, even if the low budget is not something he could entirely disguise - but still, that army at the end does feature an impressive amount of soldiers for a production like this. Elsewhere, this Macbeth can look a little silly as Welles sports a cardboard box for a crown at one point, then is inexplicably dressed as Genghis Khan the next, but it was a brave try nonetheless. Imagine what he could have done with more adequate funding. Music by Jacques Ibert.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4462 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: