Macbeth (1950)

In this adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic tale of the rise and fall of ambitious 12th-century Scottish warrior MacBeth, Orson Welles stars in the title role, with his old radio colleague Jeanette Nolan as Lady MacBeth. Dan… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 23, 1950
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: This haunting, eccentric Macbeth may be hampered by budget constraints, but Orson Welles delivers both behind and in front of the camera.

Variety Staff

Only a few of the Bard's best lines are audible. The rest are lost in strained, dialectic gibbering that is only sound, not prose.

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Elliott Stein
Village Voice

One of the director's most personal creations, it's a courageous experiment with a craggy barbaric splendor all its own.

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

The graphic intensity of Orson Welles' black-and-white 1948 film of Macbeth, then, isn't merely for show, but a carefully considered symbolist staging for screen, meant to complement the Bard's immortal poetry.

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Steve Daly
Entertainment Weekly

Stark, intermittently brilliant.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

There is force in this rough, hasty rendering; the sheer speed of the pacing gives it a quality of crushing delirium.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a film that had an unfortunately deleterious effect on Welles's career, but can now be seen and appreciated as a unique, daring take on a familiar text that rendered it new and strange

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TIME Magazine

Wonder-Boy Welles has an imaginative way with a camera.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Adventurous film-making that takes risks, and full of imaginative flourishes.

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Phil Hall

An eccentric, iconoclastic consideration of Shakespeare's tragedy.

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More reviews for Macbeth

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
Lanning : )
Hor-rors. This may be the worst version I've ever seen. To reiterate, this is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, so I'm most critical when I… More
Mike T.
Another inspired, original work by one of the true artists in American cinema. Welles makes excellent use of his small budget, producing a film that is both… More