Macbeth


1916

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 4, 1916
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Reliance Motion Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Triangle Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare (London, ca. 1605-06, published 1623).

Technical Specs

Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Although the exact sequence of events in this film are vague, the story, according to news items, closely follows Shakespeare's play. In the film, Lord Macbeth encounters three witches who predict that he will be the King of Scotland. When King Duncan visits Macbeth's castle, Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to kill the king. Plagued by guilt, and fearing that the other prediction of the witches--that Banquo will beget kings--will come true, Macbeth kills Banquo. Eventually Lady Macbeth kills herself and Macbeth is killed by Macduff.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 4, 1916
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Reliance Motion Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Triangle Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare (London, ca. 1605-06, published 1623).

Technical Specs

Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree was signed onto the project so that his performance as Macbeth would be immortalized. Sadly, the film is now lost.

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree had played Macbeth on the stage and was well known for it. He also liked to have everything go his way. Sir Herbert did not see why the cameramen had to keep moving the camera around, interrupting his dialogue. Also, he insisted on speaking all his words of dialogue verbatim from the play. Often, when sufficient footage was taken, the film would be removed from the camera and the cameraman would continue to crank away while Sir Herbert continued with his lines. Apparently, he never knew that he was wrenching his performance to an empty camera.

Notes

This was Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree's first film in America. Tree and Collier had appeared together in the same roles on the London stage. Contemporary reviews made note of this production's realism, particularly in the battle scenes. The film May have been eventually cut to seven reels. According to modern sources, Erich von Stroheim assisted Emerson in some capacity on the film. A British production of Macbeth, starring Arthur Bouchier, was released by Lucky Film Producers in the United States in March 1916. Among the many other film adaptations of Shakespeare's play are: the 1948 Republic production, starring and directed by Orson Welles; the 1956 Columbia production Joe Macbeth, starring Paul Douglas and directed by Ken Hughes; the 1957 Japanese film Throne of Blood, starring Toshiro Mifune and directed by Akira Kurosawa; the 1961 British production, starring Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson and directed by George Schaefer; and the 1971 British production, starring Jon Finch and directed by Roman Polanski.