- 2 hr
Macbeth is a play by the bard, William Shakespeare, and has been adapted to film several times, with mere references to the play reaching even higher levels. However, this review is specific to its 1960 adaptation directed by George Schaefer, whom also handled an adaptation a few years prior in 1954. The 1960 version of MacBeth was appropriately filmed in Scotland and features mostly British actors instead of Schaefer's previous attempt, which made heavy use of American actors. Macbeth is regarded as Shakespeare's darkest and strongest tragedies. The film takes place in and around the country of Scotland and focuses on the corrosive effects, both mental and political, from the titular Macbeth, Thane of Glanis and later of Cawdor, after he chooses to satisfy his lust for power though the means of a coward and murderer. Macbeth becomes the reigning king of Scotland by killing the current one, King Duncan. This regicide plummets Scotland into a civil war. Macbeth rules like a tyrant, emboldened both by his ambitious wife, the Lady Macbeth, and by the prophecy given to he and his comrade Banquo by a trio of wizened crones near the film and play's beginning, especially with the sister's pronouncement that no man born of a woman will be able to slay Macbeth. By the film's conclusion, Macbeth has lost every thing and every person that gave him his raison d'être, his reason for living. Notably, Lady MacBeth commited suicide out of grief and despair. As it so happens, the last thing taken from King Macbeth is his very life by the sword of Macduff. This is possible because the crones' prophecy allowed for someone delivered by a Caesarian Section, rather than a proper childbirth. Macduff carries the decapitated head of the tyrant king Macbeth forward and explains that order has been restored to Scotland. Malcolm then ascends to the throne as the rightful King of Scotland.