Macbeth (1948)

Though the play itself is my favorite Shakespearian work, I didn’t care much for this production. Orson Welles took it upon himself to juke the script around a bit, deleting some characters, adding at least one, and moving lines from one part of the play to another. While I’m not enough of a purist to insist on absolute, unwavering fidelity to the original text, I thought some of Welles’s modifications went a bit too far. Further, I thought the sets looked like a combination of The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. The costuming was likewise over-arty; Macbeth’s crown in particular looked as if the poor man had fallen headfirst into an end table. Then there was the high-key lighting. Then there was … well, suffice it to say that this suffered from a lot of the same defects that affected the Olivier Hamlet that came out the same year. Mildly amusing


Genre: Drama

Subgenre: Shakespeare

Date reviewed: 6/26/2009