Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ken Hughes|
|Produced by||M.J. Frankovich
George Maynard (executive producer)
|Written by||Ken Hughes
|Based on||the play Macbeth
by William Shakespeare
|Music by||Trevor Duncan|
|Edited by||Peter Rolfe Johnson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Joe MacBeth is a 1955 British–American crime drama, directed by Ken Hughes and starring Paul Douglas, Ruth Roman and Bonar Colleano. It is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in a 1930s American criminal underworld. The film's plot closely follows that of Shakespeare's original play.
Hit man Joe MacBeth goes directly from the assassination of crime boss Duke's second-in-command Tommy to his own wedding, where bride Lily scolds him for being two hours late.
Duke rewards him with a mansion by a lake. A fortune teller persuades Lily, however, that Joe's destiny is to be the leader, not a follower. Lily is ruthlessly ambitious. After he personally eliminates Duke's gluttonous rival, Big Dutch, at a restaurant, Lily continues to goad Joe into going after his own boss.
After eliminating his crime ally Banky and alienating Banky's son Lennie, an evening at the lakeside mansion ends with Duke inviting the lovely Lily to go for a swim. Once in the water, though, Duke is stabbed in the back by Joe and left to die. Lily dives in to make sure.
Although he expresses outrage that someone has murdered their boss, Joe is not believed by Lennie, who suspects the truth. Joe begins to be haunted by nightmares and visions. One night, when he believes Lennie's men have come to kill him, Joe takes a machine gun and opens fire at a moving curtain. Lily falls dead. Joe's own violent end is about to follow.
- Paul Douglas – Joe MacBeth
- Ruth Roman – Lily MacBeth
- Bonar Colleano – Lennie
- Grégoire Aslan – Duca, aka 'The Duke'
- Sid James – Banky
- Harry Green – Big Dutch
- Walter Crisham – Angus
- Kay Callard – Ruth
- Robert Arden – Ross
- George Margo – Second Assassin
- Minerva Pious – Rosie
- Philip Vickers – Tommy
- Mark Baker – Benny
- Bill Nagy – Marty
- Nicholas Stuart – Duffy
- Teresa Thorne – Ruth
- Shirley Douglas
- Alfred Mulock – First assassin
- Louise Grant
- Beresford Egan
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | JOE MACBETH (1954)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Jackson pp. 310–311
- Jackson, Russell. The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare on film. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
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