Macbeth (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Macbeth (1950)

Macbeth (1950)




Critic Consensus: This haunting, eccentric Macbeth may be hampered by budget constraints, but Orson Welles delivers both behind and in front of the camera.

Movie Info

In this adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic tale of the rise and fall of ambitious 12th-century Scottish warrior MacBeth, Orson Welles stars in the title role, with his old radio colleague Jeanette Nolan as Lady MacBeth. Dan O'Herlihy plays MacDuff, Roddy MacDowell is Malcolm, and Edgar Barrier the unfortunate Banquo.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Orson Welles
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2012
Mercury Productions


Orson Welles
as Macbeth
Jeanette Nolan
as Lady Macbeth
Alan Napier
as A Holy Father
Peggy Webber
as Lady Macduff
Archie Heugly
as Young Siward
Christopher Welles
as Macduff Child
Lurene Tuttle
as Gentlewoman
Brainerd Duffield
as 1st Murderer
William Alland
as 2nd Murderer
Gus Schilling
as A Porter
Jerry Farber
as Fleance
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Macbeth

Critic Reviews for Macbeth

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

Only a few of the Bard's best lines are audible. The rest are lost in strained, dialectic gibbering that is only sound, not prose.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Top Critic

Stark, intermittently brilliant.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Wonder-Boy Welles has an imaginative way with a camera.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

One of the director's most personal creations, it's a courageous experiment with a craggy barbaric splendor all its own.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

There is force in this rough, hasty rendering; the sheer speed of the pacing gives it a quality of crushing delirium.

Full Review… | April 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Adventurous film-making that takes risks, and full of imaginative flourishes.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Macbeth

Hor-rors. This may be the worst version I've ever seen. To reiterate, this is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, so I'm most critical when I watch a production. Worse still for Orson Welles, I was just iPoding the Arkangel recording while I was walking the Great Wall in China last week, so the play's all the more fresh in my mind. It's as if Welles thinks he's always doing Citizen Kane -- don't get me started. You don't have to emote, okay, you have to deliver. The words carry enough drama all by themselves, all right? Yet one more reason why Welles will never make either my favorite actor or my favorite director lists.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Another inspired, original work by one of the true artists in American cinema. Welles makes excellent use of his small budget, producing a film that is both stylish and surprising. He does things with the play that are unusual, and that's part of what makes his piece so exciting to watch. An absorbing visual marvel.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer


Near theatre-like, Wells adaption of Macbeth, presents in with vision and some rather near-perfect shots of the three witches, cursing thy formulas of the future. Like the serpents sting, death betrays the lust of kings.

Macbeth Quotes

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