Macbeth (1916 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Macbeth 1916 still.jpg
Directed by John Emerson
Produced by D. W. Griffith
Written by William Shakespeare (play)
John Emerson (scenario) and Anita Loos (intertitles)
Starring Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Constance Collier
Cinematography Victor Fleming
George W. Hill
Distributed by Triangle Film Corporation
Release date
  • June 4, 1916 (1916-06-04) (United States)
Running time
8 reels
Country United States
Language Silent film (English intertitles)

Macbeth is a silent, black-and-white 1916 film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play Macbeth. It was directed by John Emerson, assisted by Erich von Stroheim, and produced by D. W. Griffith, with cinematography by Victor Fleming. The film starred Herbert Beerbohm Tree and Constance Collier, both famous from the stage and for playing Shakespearean parts. Although released during the first decade of feature filmmaking, it was already the seventh version of Macbeth to be produced, one of eight of the silent film era. It is considered to be a lost film. The running time is 80 minutes.[1]

In the companion book to his Hollywood television series, Kevin Brownlow states that Sir Herbert Tree failed to understand that the production was a silent film and that speech was not needed so much as pantomime. Tree, who had performed the play numerous times on the stage, kept spouting reams of dialogue. So Emerson and Fleming simply removed the film and cranked an empty camera so as not to waste film when he did so.[2]


Further reading[edit]

  • Buchanan, Judith (2009). Shakespeare on Silent Film: An Excellent Dumb Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 6. ISBN 0-521-87199-9


  1. ^ Macbeth at
  2. ^ Hollywood The Pioneers, by Kevin Brownlow and John Kobal, c. March 1980 ISBN 978-0394508511(paperback)

External links[edit]