Prospero's Books

1991, Drama/Fantasy, 2h 1m

24 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

There is no middle ground for viewers of Peter Greenaway's work, but for his fans, Prospero's Books is reliably daring. Read critic reviews

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Prospero's Books Photos

Movie Info

Shakespeare's exiled duke (John Gielgud) tells his tale in calligraphy in this version of "The Tempest."

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Prospero's Books

Audience Reviews for Prospero's Books

  • Oct 11, 2013
    Visually phenomenal de facto stage adaptation of 'The Tempest' with 82-year-old John Gielgud reciting nearly every line of dialogue! Moving sets, film overlays, animation, and all sorts of old-school camera tricks really arrest the eyes, which is a must to get through the lengthy and often laborious monologues. Also contains the largest number of naked people in a single movie that I or anyone else has ever seen, including anything from Caligula to Gonzo Gangbangs Vols. 1-6. The kind of film you'll want to watch once but likely only once.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2013
    An adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" with John Gielgud as Prospero, featuring decadent sets, nude spirits, sumptuous video overlays, optical tricks, and animated books. Paintings from the Old Masters come to life and morph into each other as Gielgud reads almost every line of the play; even if you hate it, it's impossible not to be impressed by the massive scale and detail of this encyclopedic movie. Sadly, there is no decent way to legitimately see this in Region 1; the exsiting DVD release is a criminally muddled, pan-and-scan transfer of the VHS release. This is the kind of movie the Blu-ray format was invented for.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2012
    Sorry I hate Greenaway. He is only director who puts me in a coma through repetition of sounds and images. I have never understood it and I doubt I ever will.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2009
    It is a great Movie, what is wrong with you guys?
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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