Roman Polanski's dark and gritty interpretation of the Bard's play, is equally masterful and unforgettable. Filmed on location in North Wales, Polanski's nightmarish film weaves a cinematic spell upon the viewer with its startling moments of violence and exceptional performances from stars Jon Finch
as Macbeth and Francesca Annis
as his foul Lady. When originally released in 1971, Macbeth
was not a success and many critics felt that -- despite the obvious talent involved -- it was virtually impossible to separate the film from the murder of Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate
, as well as the other victims of the so-called Manson murders in 1969. Thankfully, time has been a blessing to Macbeth
and the film has long been championed by its admirers as one of the greatest Shakespeare adaptations put to celluloid. Columbia TriStar's DVD is fabulous, finally presenting the film in its proper widescreen (2.35:1) aspect ratio, and with fully remastered picture and sound. Taking into account that the film has a distinctive and purposefully grainy look to it, the transfer is excellent. The disc also comes with theatrical trailers for other Columbia TriStar releases. It's unfortunate that Polanski was not involved with making this disc a truly special event, but the film alone makes this DVD required viewing.