After helping to put down a rebellion, Macbeth (Jon Finch) is rewarded with the post of Thane by good king Duncan (Nicholas Selby). But he bitterly thirsts for even faster advancement, as a cackle of witches has forecast his eventual rise to the crown. Macbeth and his scheming wife (Francesca Annis) plot first the murder of Duncan, and then the demise of heirs that stand to accede to the throne before him. But as they start down the path of killing, the ambitious couple are beset with strange visions and hallucinations. —DVDtalk.com
The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow… read more
I’m admittedly not a big fan of the play to begin with, and unfortunately, this is not the adaptation that inspires me to think otherwise. But Polanski’s efforts in crafting the gritty, moody atmosphere that fittingly enshrouds the text’s performance here certainly don’t go unnoticed, or unappreciated, or unadmired, for that matter.