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Movie-A-Day #14: Macbeth (1948).

January 14, 2011

Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.

— “Macbeth” Act IV, Scene 1

Today is National Caesarian Section Day. C-sections generally aren’t important plot elements in film or fiction, but leave it to Shakespeare to make it the crux of a tragic hero’s downfall. Over the centuries “Macbeth” has become the focus of a lot of superstitions in theater circles. So despite its reputation as one of the Bard’s greatest works, it hasn’t been staged nearly as much as its more popular cousins like “Romeo and Juliet” or “Hamlet.” But of the existing film adaptations, Orson Welles’ production is perhaps the best. He gives “the Scottish play” a darkly modern noir edge, despite the period trappings. Some poor audio work aside, it’s one of Welles’ overlooked masterpieces.

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