Roman Polanski's Macbeth


Anthology Film Archives, Lower East Side


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Roman Polanski's Macbeth

The director’s 1971 macabre take on the Bard’s dark tragedy

"[Polanski’s version is] strong on youth, beauty, and inevitable gore. The wide-screen visuals swamp the dialogue, and the thematics have been turned inside out – but that's what movie adaptations ought to do."

- Chicago Reader
Even before Roman Polanski got his hands on it, Shakespeare’s Macbeth was already a bloodbath. The gory play about the Scottish general whose scheming wife takes the reins is at its most graphic in this adaptation, and it’s no was the director’s first work after the notorious Manson massacre of his wife and friends. The film’s brutal single frame cuts, violence, and nudity once earned it an X rating. We expected no less from a Hefner-produced, Polanski-directed take on the Bard. General admission. Over 18s only.

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