View Full Version : Polanski's MacBeth

07-21-2002, 07:34 AM
Just got this this week, and I think I'm gonna watch it tonight. Maybe not typically considered horror, but I've heard it's pretty bloody. I'll be sure to let ya know, if anyone is interested. :)

07-21-2002, 07:47 AM
By the way, Macbeth is played by Jon Finch, who some of you may remember from Hammer's Horror of Frankenstein and The Vampire Lovers, released just the previous year, and from Hitchcock's Frenzy, released the following year. Hammer, Polanski, Hitchcock. Not a bad few years for an actor, huh?

07-21-2002, 12:17 PM
I bought this one a month ago together with some other titles, but haven't had time to watch it yet. I look forward to it, though! Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and Polanski is a great director, so hopefully it'll be good.

07-21-2002, 02:02 PM
Have no fear Behemoth - this movie was brutal. There are many "slow" periods that may grate on the short of patience, but then, anyone who is familiar with the play knows there are times where the characters reflect at length. I personally have no problem with silence and the use of time to instill weight in a movie, if done right, and here I think Polanski does so.

But with all the length of the movie, the evenly dispersed scenes of grisly gore are exceptional! No, there is no Evil Dead-style spraying blood, or wall covering waves of the stuff, but there is still plenty to go around, staining weapons, hands and clothing in excess. The real attraction here isn't the amount of blood though, but the personal and intimate nature of the violence. Give me a dagger in the neck, a mace to the head, an axe to the gut, a sword to the ribs, over any gunshot to the head (except maybe the shotgun blast in Maniac :D ). It's a much more brutal and direct measure of aggression, and it is on good display here in Macbeth. Enjoy! :D

The Weird Witches are played wonderfully, having the necessary timing between them down well, and their makeup was well done. They looked and acted great for the part.

Speaking of the acting, I thought most all of the cast did very well, and have to say that Jon Finch was a damned good Macbeth. He played it straight without coming off as stiff or pretentious, and worked with as much facial expression as he did dialogue. He seemed very comfortable in the role. Too bad he would only have one more gig with Hammer, in the t.v show Hammer House of Horror, in the Witching Time episode.

The look of the film is awesome. It's dark and the colors are warm but dull, but it works perfectly for this medieval story. The medieval armies were terrific, numerous and decked out in full gear. The costumes and sets look very realistic, and so does the camera work, going for a naturalistic approach, following the action at a reserved distance, rather than zooming in on intense close-ups, or spinning around, and cutting from shot to shot quickly like many of todays action films, in a cheap attempt to excite the viewer. No, here we get to see the action as it is played out; we get to linger and gawk at the intrigue and carnage with voyeuristic abandon.

This is a grimey, dirty, brutal, movie - beautifully filmed. I highly recommend it to fans of classic drama, medieval period pieces, and ultra-violence! :D

07-21-2002, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the info,MutheyHyde.
I love Polanski and I will pick up this one too despite the fact it isn't a real horror movie.

07-21-2002, 10:58 PM
This was a great adaptation. To bad Pasolini's Medea isn't out because that would make a great double feature.

07-22-2002, 11:33 AM
Great movie, I especially like the way Macbeth ends up :D!. Finch is a very fine and sadly underused actor in movies, he was also good in Robert "Dr. Phibes" Fuest's "The Final Programme" (just released by AB), and later in the mid-'70s as the unlikeable police inspector in "Diagnosis Murder" with Chris Lee and Judy Geeson. By the way, Columbia did a really bad job with that "Macbeth" DVD cover - that's Martin Shaw on the front, not Finch :(!.

07-22-2002, 12:30 PM
Yep, I agree the cover is fucked up. It is a grand image, but it makes you think that's Macbeth, so the whole time you're wondering, "what the hell?"

Also, yeah, when we last see Macbeth, it's pretty awesome.

I need to check out that Diagnosis Murder for sure. Thanks for the tip Yowie! :cool:

07-23-2002, 04:14 PM
I finally watched this movie, and it was excellent! Jon Finch was very good as Macbeth, and the atmosphere of the movie was incredible. I highly recommend this film to anyone who likes Macbeth or Shakespeare!

07-24-2002, 01:58 AM
Glad you dug it Behemoth! I think I just might have to give it another spin this weekend. Although I already know what's gonna happen, it's just a damn good looking film, and damn eerie too! :)

07-24-2002, 08:51 AM
That little pervert never ceases to amaze me, thanks for the scoop Hyde, I think I'll pick this up now sight-unseen. :cool:

I should have the Japanese Cul-de-Sac DVD in just a few days, if anyone is interested I'll post some info, should be good with Polanski, Donald Pleasence and Jackie Bisset in her first speaking role.

07-24-2002, 09:16 AM
Mmmm, a young Jacqueline - ha! I'm down for that Carl, I've never seen it. Add to that the fact that Donald Pleasance rules, this is a must see for me. http://www.horrordvds.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon14.gif