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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 24 March 2005
I own several on screen versions of Macbeth, including the RSC version with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench, the 2001 RSC version directed by Gregory Doran, and the Roman Polanski cinematic version, so I believe I can safely say that the BBC Macbeth is the one I was most impressed with. Both Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire give impressive performances. Williamson manages to realistically portray Macbeth as a terrified man, and Lapotaire is perfect as Lady Macbeth. This film explores the psychological dimension of the play to a much greater extent than other filmed versions, which emphasize the political. Here, the director delves into the protagonist's mind, and the result is tremendous.
There are many memorable moments in this film, such as Nicol Williamson wringing his hands behind his back as he knows his deed is about to be discovered, Jane Lapotaire with bloody hands pushing her husband towards the bedroom, or the terror in Lady Macduff's eyes as her child is slaughtered.
I also liked the lighting effects at the opening of the play, especially the use of colours for the sky.
I highly recommend this Macbeth to all those who truly appreciate Shakespeare.
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on 5 May 2011
In spite of the play (which I think is neither Shakespeare's best-constructed, nor his most convincingly written) and in spite of the sets (which look cheap and do not altogether complement the action), I found that I very much enjoyed this particular production.

I suspect - although I do not know - that the director was more familiar with the theatre than with film or television, because the use of the camera did not strike me as being particularly good. Apart, that is, from the speeches which are delivered directly to it. On the whole, I thought they worked well. Also, the lighting is frequently too harsh for the production, but what makes the play fun is the intensity with which Nicol Williams as Macbeth, and Jane Lapotaire as Lady Macbeth, throw themselves into their roles. The acting amongst the other players is variable - some good, some not so good - but the intensity of the two central perfomances carries you through the play and makes it well worth watching.

Aside from the "Subtitles" and "Scene Selection" options, the DVD has no extras.
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on 12 July 2016
Being familiar with and much enamoured of the 1971 Polanski cinematic version of 'Macbeth', I was initially somewhat disappointed with the earlier part of this 1982 BBC production. However, as I continued through this version with Nicol Williamson as the lead, I realized how much of Shakespeare's original text was omitted in the Kenneth Tynan-Roman Polanski screenplay of the cinematic version. Hence this BBC production was a worthwhile discovery, and an important one for me, especially as 'Macbet' is by far my favourite of all the Bard's tragedies. This BBC version therefore appears to be much more faithful to the text. As with a number of other BBC productions, however, it feels somewhat claustrophobic and stage-bound, and I wanted castles and open fields, and more, as in a cinematic version, for example the Polanski version, which excelled in its locations and had much more atmosphere. At any rate the BBC production is very well equipped with quality actors and their skills. I was somewhat disappointed with Jean Lapotaire as Lady Macbeth, who did not seem to convey the scheming, unbridled ambition and evil of the character.
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on 28 November 2004
I have been a great fan of Shakespeare's plays for some time now, in particular Hamlet and Macbeth, so I decided to rent this out from the video library and give it a try. Jane Lapotaire's performance is OK, and there are some good supporting performances, but Nicol Williamson is so bad! His melodramatic performance of the 'Is this a dagger?' soliloquy was hilariously bad, and I was mortified to watch him slaughtering the 'To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow' speech with his slow, roaring delivery - "To .... mo .... rrrrow; aaaaaaaaaaaaaand to .... mo .... rrrrow" etc. There's got to be a better filmed version of this play out there. Don't get this.
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on 25 March 2016
Bargain price video rapidly delivered. pleased with purchase
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on 15 March 2006
Having remembered this version of Macbeth from school, I thought I'd have another look at it to help me in my studies of Shakespeare (as a university drama student). However, it seems my memory had played tricks on me. To be fair, I only watched the 1st half hour of the film before giving up on it, so it may have picked up later, but I gave up on it because of the appalling acting. Every thing is so over the top that it grates. Although Jane Lapotaire does an interesting interpretation of the 'come, you spirits' speech, she may as well have a sign saying 'I Am Acting' written above her. Nicol Williamson can't even claim that. And of course, being an obvious low budget film, the costume, camera work and scenery are nothing to rave about. All in all, I can find nothing that I could recommend about this film, especially not to drama students.
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on 11 September 2015
Arrived as and when required.
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on 30 March 2009
I'm not going to write a long review because the film doesn't deserve it.

This is so bad, the lighting it terrible, the filming, acting, sets/ stages are all terrible.

Just get a different one - I haven't watched one yet - but I'm quite sure that anything is better than this.
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on 24 January 2015
Everything perfect.
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on 29 April 2011
It is just the growling, gurgling and heavy inhalation & exhalation of Williamson that makes the whole performance so tiresome. Go find another version.
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