Short 2 hour version is missing one or two key scenes.
Douglas E. Libert | parkersburg wv | 02/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"you know i've seen many renditions of Macbeth and in some plays he comes off almost as a Hamletlike Macbeth,(conflicted to abstraction)In this version he comes off just plain MEAN!! His wife mean and cold. Actually the worse the acting job in portraying this hellish couple,the more real to life. They just aren't likable people,brutal and agressive.However this version did cut out the critical scene when MacDuff tries to sway the English power against Macbeth. This is important because no matter how bad Macbeth is,the English worry that Macduff could be worse,so they put Macduff through a test of character.To the English,Macbeth is "the Devil we know",as opposed to the one we don,t. This is a major scene in the play and to omit it is a mistake. But the good note is that the Hell porter man is there in all fullness complete with drunken accents."
Does the job well enough
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 01/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up this DVD to help my son to supplement his reading of the play for his high school Lit class. The play is staged quite simply, and is shot basically the way one would see it on stage, with few tracking shots or camera tricks. The set is quite spare -- a few columns here and there for the actors to walk around. The costuming is simple and mostly traditional.
The back of the DVD claims that the actors avoid speaking in English accents, which is supposedly an aid to American listeners. Frankly, this did not help me much, as some of the actors still spoke in "stagey" English and not in contemporary accents. The production stayed very close to the written play, which was suitable to the purpose I had in mind -- give me a sense of the play without lots of adaptations and scene cutting.
I thought Jeremy Brett did a fine and muscular job as Macbeth. However, I often found Piper Laurie (as Lady Macbeth) hard to understand. The witches and their familiars get more stage time than a reading of the play might suggest. This does not detract from the action, but suggests the continuing presence of their malign influence on Macbeth and others. The rest of the cast was quite competent and intelligible.
I don't agree completely with the very low ratings given by many reviewers. This Macbeth is a workmanlike and straightforward rendering of "The Scottish Tragedy." Taken for what it is, it is quite acceptable, if not exemplary."
Jeremy Brett's Performance Makes This Worthwhile
K. Gustafson | mainewoods | 11/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I read other reviews before purchasing and was sufficiently cautious to purchase this on VHS - since the cost is so much lower than the DVD. And though I agree with many of the reviewers that overall the performances in this production are amateurish - have no doubt that Brett's performance is reason enough to make the purchase. And since he is the one acting Macbeth he is the one on screen most of the time. His portrayal is brilliant. He is mesmerizing, and fans of his work will not be disappointed. Piper Laurie, on the other hand, embarasses herself with her performance as Lady Macbeth. If you still have a VHS player then I recommend you buy that format - it is on two tapes."