best Shakespeare on film ever by far ~ 420
Jon Finch and Francesca Anis star in this dark and gory version directed by Roman Polanski (1971). It must have been remarkable to see this movie when it first premiered. You’d think folks would have been afraid to see it since it was Polanski’s first movie after the murder of his wife Sharon Tate in 1969, but it was a block buster. It holds up very well and I think it is the best movie version of Macbeth, and perhaps one of the top 3 of any Shakespeare-based movie. Filmed in Wales and Northumberland the cinematography is gorgeous. The three witches (and there are even more) are the scariest I’ve seen in any movie. The acting is solid (whatever happened to Jon Finch) and the claymore fighting looks real…heavy, cumbersome, and slow-moving (today’s sword fights are sped up a bit). Definitely not a word-for-word interpretation of the play; Polanski was criticized for taking too many liberties. But it is a great movie, and if you are a Polanski fan (eg, Repulsion, Knife in the Water, Chinatown) this is a must see.
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