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Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948)


RaquelVixen
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Is anybody else excited about today's Blu-Ray release of Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948) ?

There is a sidebar on its release on the Recent Movie News link. It does not appear that is available on TCM.com.shop. It is being released by Olive Films. It is also available on Amazon.com for the same price.

 

I find this film fascinating. It was done on a shoe string budget for Republic Pictures on a sound stage. It is kinda like watching a train wreck, some may say. The sets are expressionistic and the accents are all a faux Scottish but the Shakespearean dialogue that Welles has trimmed to his liking flows. The costumes are imaginative and the castle and caves all papier mache.

 

 

This release has been restored to a running time of 107 minutes. I bought a Korean DVD several years ago that only ran 101 minutes so it's good to see the film restored to its original length before it underwent editing.

 

 

Now if we only get Beatrice Welles to release Chimes at Midnight (1965) because, I believe, it is involved in litigation. There has been a Brazilian DVD release that is inferior.

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Don't you hate that? You start a thread on a perfectly good topic, and... nada. Doesn't mean nobody's interested, could be they just haven't noticed the thread.

 

I haven't seen Orson Welles' *Macbeth* in so many years, it almost doesn't count ( for me to say I've seen it at all.) I do remember, it seemed to me a little over-wrought.

"Of course it's over-wrought ! It's MACBETH ! " you could say.

 

 

I know, I know. But I'm weird about Shakespeare translated to film. I usually see his work performed live, and somehow I can't "get into" his plays when made into movies. Sorry, hope that doesn't sound snooty ( "O, dahling, you've got to experience the man's work in the theatah.")

 

I do like Orson Welles, though.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Sep 27, 2012 10:06 PM

How embarrassing. I just noticed I spelt his name with and "e", but it's with an "o". OrsOn Welles. I always make that mistake, you'd think I'd know better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}Don't you hate that? You start a thread on a perfectly good topic, and... nada. Doesn't mean nobody's interested, could be they just haven't noticed the thread.

>

>

> I

>

I think threads with not very many comments means that people read the original post but don't usually have much to reply about it (especially posts regarding Shakespeare--maybe they're afraid of sounding dumb?)

 

Misswonderly, have you ever seen Kenneth Branagh's version of HAMLET? I agree with you that most movies based on Shakespeare's plays end up being nothing more than filmed plays. But I LOVE Branagh's version of HAMLET cause he makes it CINEMATIC. The imagery is breathtaking, the music is sublime, and Branagh directs it in such a way that you can get the gist of the story even without knowing precisely what every word means.

 

As far as Welles' MACBETH, I saw it once long ago but don't remember much about it. Probably cause I never took the time to study the play. Shakespeare, like all great art, rewards you proportionally. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

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Yes, I have seen Kenneth Branagh's *Hamlet*. You're right, it is good, and he does make it "cinematic". As he does with the other two Shakespeare plays I've seen that he directed, *Henry V*, and *Much Ado About Nothing*.

(He's directed and acted in other filmed Shakespeare plays, but those are the only three I've seen.)

 

Branagh seems to have an innate sense of what will "work" with Shakespeare-as-film. He really does "open the play up", shooting on location, etc.

I actually like his version of *Henry V* better than Laurence Olivier's.

 

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