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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning performances
In my personal opinion, but this is the best recorded Macbeth I have seen... but then again, what do I know?
Anthony Sher and Harriet Walter produce characters that are complex, multidimensional and believable, and the chemistry between them is fantastic. The scene in which Macbeth wavers and Lady M delivers the "...but screw your courage to the sticking...
Published on 24 Feb. 2013 by Mr. Anthony Travis

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30 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Fury
I bought this DVD for two reasons: the three existing reviews were all five star and it was part of a package offer when one bought the Polanski Macbeth along with the 1978 production of the play with Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. After viewing it I can only assume that the positive reviews originated with the film's backers.
This is without a doubt the worst...
Published on 5 Dec. 2010 by Cassandra


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning performances, 24 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr. Anthony Travis (Reading UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
In my personal opinion, but this is the best recorded Macbeth I have seen... but then again, what do I know?
Anthony Sher and Harriet Walter produce characters that are complex, multidimensional and believable, and the chemistry between them is fantastic. The scene in which Macbeth wavers and Lady M delivers the "...but screw your courage to the sticking post" speech, for example, is charged with an erotic energy and blind complicity that makes us realise how such enterprises can commence with a combination of the right [or wrong!] two people.
The unremittingly dark and gloomy settings work to support the feel of the production and the supporting cast is strong. The way the witches are used is inventive and surprising.
If you like the Scottish Play, see this...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, Modern Military Production, 23 Feb. 2015
By 
Arachne202 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is from the beginning of the century. Gregory Doran took his RSC production and reworked it for cinema, using the Roundhouse and a batch of underground tunnels beneath it as his location, and with costumes in modern military dress of an unspecified geography. So all he really had was the Roundhouse building, about fifteen excellent actors (including some real children), a few blue lights, and a camera. It's not Hollywood.

Considering the limited budget on show, what he did wring out of that camera is incredible. He boxes actors into confined spaces wherever possible, up against naked brick walls which tie into the references to forts and castles, and brings a throat-clenching claustrophobia to the production. The camera is right in actors' faces, and Macbeth (Antony Sher) in particular does talk directly to it, and in such close-up he can almost whisper his monologues and we're tied into every horrible thought that crosses his face. Antony Sher is every inch a soldier: - when he had to bow down before the king, he almost went into a military push-up first, and I was fully convinced he was capable of killing on demand. If he turns up on tomorrow's nine o'clock news waving a bayonet, I'll believe it. Lady Macbeth (Harriet Walter) is the most cold-blooded, reptilian performer I've ever seen in that role. The whole thing was so hideous (in a good way!!!) I couldn't watch it straight through. I could only deal with it in instalments. Shakespeare would have been delighted.

They have chopped the script up a bit, and it is barrelled through with such frenetic energy that if you don't already know the play, you might find it a bit confusing to follow what is happening. Also, the supernatural side of things has been virtually removed. The witches get a few bits lurking in corners, but otherwise it's almost stripped out completely, and that rankles slightly, because even in this day and age, the modern-day Macbeths of this world are driven as much by superstitious fear and arrogance that they are blessed by the divine as well as by personal naked ambition. It does make the ending a bit unsatisfying.

But that is nit-picking. This cinematic adaptation is definitely worth viewing.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A suberb film of a wonderful production, 12 Nov. 2003
By 
Gregory Musson (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
If you saw the RSC's Swan Theatre production, then this DVD is for you.
Instead of directly filming the original this version takes place solely in the Roundhouse in London, and adds some new twists to the old production, though the Tony Blair Porter, scary knocking at the gates and so on are still there.
Full of amazing performances this is not to be missed.
Not much on the side of extras except interviews, but well worth it.
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30 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Fury, 5 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I bought this DVD for two reasons: the three existing reviews were all five star and it was part of a package offer when one bought the Polanski Macbeth along with the 1978 production of the play with Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. After viewing it I can only assume that the positive reviews originated with the film's backers.
This is without a doubt the worst production of Macbeth, or indeed any Shakespeare play, I have yet to see. I am not one of those against presenting Shakespeare in modern dress. It can often serve to bring fresh aspects of the play to light, as in the film version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania, where the possessiveness of Edwardian society towards its females resonates well with the rather draconian attitude toward filial disobedience. (Besides, Hippolyta eagerly riding to hounds and Theseus as a huntin' squire boasting about his pack has a sly humor Shakespeare might well have appreciated.) But when all is said and done, "Macbeth" deals with Iron Age warfare and all the woolie-pullies, camo-paint and MagLites in the world cannot alter this. The play is not only packed with references to swords, horses and armor, but these are often crucially linked to the meaning of the lines. When Macbeth in the last act insists on donning his armor long before it is necessary, Shakespeare is showing a man whose world is crumbling grasping eagerly at both a tangible form of protection and a nostalgic connection with the honorable soldier and leader of men he used to be. Having some non-com hand him a jacket just doesn't carry the weight. The play appears to be set in bombed-out sections of Northern Ireland, with loving emphasis on crumbling concrete, rusty I-bars, puddles and trash. While this does make an all too banal statement about the horrors of war, it doesn't really work as a background for a medieval war of succession. All this gritty realism also presented the director with a knotty problem of how to fit in the witches, which he has solved by turning them into a trio of bag ladies. This insistence on down-playing all supernatural aspects makes a nonsense of the main thrust of the play, the inevitable tragedy of a Faustian bargain. Yet despite his obsession with realism at all costs, the director accompanies all Duncan's appearances with snatches of liturgical music, (never mind the incongruity of a bunch of SAS wannabes bursting into polyphonal vocals), candles, crucifixes and - for some inexplicable reason - a heavily back-lit descending ramp straight out of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". There is no connection between any of these, no consistent interpretation. One gets the impression that he grabbed this, that and the other clever idea at random and popped it in for shock effect. The production might have been saved by skillful acting, but unfortunately what it got was a great deal of shouting and gabbling, often so rapidly babbled and bellowed that the text was lost. A partial exception is Harriet Walter's Lady Macbeth. She does a fine characterization of an ambitious company wife at the end of her tether, which isn't quite on target for the play but is probably the best she could manage and still connect in any way with what the rest of the cast was up to. Anthony Sher's Macbeth is profoundly unsatisfying. All in all, not recommended.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 20 May 2007
This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The production that awakened a fierce passion for Shakespeare in me, this is simply breathtaking. Antony Sher is staggeringly powerful as Macbeth, and it is transferred astonishingly well to video.

Glorious stuff. Really.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 1 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Watching this version of Macbeth made me really think about the words of the play, as the set in quite bare and stripped of any Scottish regalia. This is the best adaptation I've ever seen as the acting is breathtaking and incredibly moving. A must see!!!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant production!, 12 April 2011
By 
J. Shaw (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Cassandra needs to get over herself, or at least stop writing essays on Amazon! This is one of the most intense and exhilerating productions of Macbeth you will ever see. Brilliant!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this., 11 Nov. 2014
By 
A. J. Morris (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Phenonmenal. Watch this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Nov. 2014
By 
Nello F.Carlini (San Francisco, CA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
send
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the best Macbeth ... ever!, 29 May 2011
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This review is from: Macbeth [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is genuinely a compelling version of Macbeth. Sher is a jittery jumpy Macbeth - clearly mad - and chilling. The porter scene is really funny - even my Y10 student laughed at it. It's a clever, witty and inteligent production which will please modernists and pureists. I love love love it!
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Macbeth [DVD] [2003]
Macbeth [DVD] [2003] by Greg Doran (DVD - 2003)
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