Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw, Terence Bayler
Written by: Roman Polanski, Kenneth Tynan, based on the play by William Shakespeare
Directed by: Roman Polanski
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 140
Date: 10/13/1971

Macbeth (1971)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Out Damned Spot!

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like Hitchcock and De Palma, Roman Polanski (who recently won the Cannes FilmFestival's Palm D'Or for his new film The Pianist) is a filmmaker thatworks out his inner demons on film. So it's not surprising that he wouldbe the first to tackle William Shakespeare on film with modern-dayviolence and nudity. As much as I love Shakespeare films, however, thiswas something of a disappointment. Its ferocity has faded over theyears, and the precision that made Polanski's Repulsion andChinatown so superb is not evident here. Not to mention that OrsonWelles and Akira Kurosawa both made superior versions of the same play.Nevertheless, Columbia/TriStar's disc finally presents the film in widescreen, andit's easily the best version available. Theater critic Kenneth Tynan co-wrotethe screenplay.