(Mark Lawson’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/9.)

Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, joins Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet and Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight in my top 10 films based on the Stratford playwright’s works

Promoting its review of the new movie version of Macbeth, the Daily Telegraph asked, on its front page: “Has Shakespeare ever been better on the big screen?”

Such a question is clearly intended to provoke a response, and the gist of mine, revealed in the personal Top 10 below, would be: yes, but not very often. In the arbitrary rules to which such surveys are prone, I have decided that a play can only be represented once (which turns out to be especially foul and unfair for Macbeth) and that directors are restricted to a single entry, in order to prevent the list being dominated by multiple cinematic Bardists such as Kenneth Branagh, Julie Taymor, Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier, although the last has the bigger problem of having been omitted completely.


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