Macbeth / McKellen, Dench (Thames Shakespeare Collection)
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- Biography and filmography of Ian McKellen
- Biography and filmography of Judi Dench
Top Customer Reviews
This film is worth watching for these two outstanding performances alone, and for the beauty of the language, unencumbered by complex technical effects. Trevor Nunn has chosen to highlight the emotional deterioration of MacBeth and his Lady for this production, and I wonder if that choice was made because he had these two incredible actors for this production, or if he chose them for this purpose (a variation on the chicken/egg theory of theatrical production).
The "apparitions" (Banquo, dagger, et al) occur in MacBeth's head only -- McKellen's amazing ability convinces you that he sees bloody, murdered Banquo seated at the table, although we do not see him. (Believe me, this is infinitely preferable to some other Banquo apparitions I've witnessed in other productions.) Dench is, quite simply, the best actor alive to ever trod down the even road of the Bard?s blank verse. Period. Her Lady MacBeth?s degeneration is set in motion from the first letter-reading scene, climaxing in the most jaw-dropping sleepwalking scene ever.
Shakespeare has never SOUNDED better?much of this recording would work equally well as an audio-only version.Read more ›
The atmosphere is intense and claustrophobic from the very beginning. Judi Dench presents a Lady Macbeth who, right from the start, is terrified of the spirits she calls upon to possess her. Ian MacKellen presents us with a figure on the verge of insanity, and possibly beyond: this Macbeth has to convince himself that "all is but toys", for otherwise, he could not go on living with the burden of such guilt. It is terrifying to see these figures descend further into the depths of evil and madness. Somehow, all horror films seem a bit tame after this: the evil does not come from the monster outside, but from the monster within ourselves.
In brief, this is not prettified Shakespeare. If you are looking for spectacle and opulence, it would be best to look elsewhere. But if you are looking for an intelligent reading of one of the great undisputed masterpieces of drama, then you need look no further.
Acting aside, the great thing about this production, is that it presents Macbeth in much the same way as it would have been seen by William Shakespeare. Some comment on the stripped down nature of this production, without appreciating that in the original productions there was virtually no set and little in the way of costumes. Oh, and no women. Far from being an esoteric adaptation of Macbeth, this version is much closer to what theatre goers would have witnessed in Elizabethan times.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the acclaimed Trevor Nunn 1976 stage production of Macbeth, videotaped for television. It is minimalist in terms of scenery, props and costume. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Peter Reeve
Judi Dench is the best Lady MacBeth ever, and Ian McKellen is his usual fearless self, willing to do anything to make the character real and give him impact--in this case, drooling... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Margaret Anderson
I couldn't make myself pause it. I could not tear myself away from it.
Trust me, Shakespeare and the pee-pee dance do not go well together. Read more