King Lear

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Made on location in what looks like a perilously cold Denmark, Brook's only Shakespeare on celluloid found a similarly frosty reception, especially as it came out just after Kozintsev's grandly conceived Russian version. Brook's filming is graceless - looming close-ups, perverse camera moves - but there are some remarkable performances (developed from his much praised stage production a few years before with Scofield). The conception is consistent with the influential views of Jan Kott, who saw Lear as a precursor to Beckett's plays about human blindness and nothingness (a line reinforced by the casting of MacGowran as the Fool, and Magee as the Duke of Cornwall). A bleak interpretation, in every sense.

By: DT


Release details

137 mins

Cast and crew

Peter Brook
Paul Scofield
Irene Worth
Alan Webb
Tom Fleming
Susan Engel
Annelise Gabold
Jack MacGowran
Cyril Cusack
Patrick Magee
Robert Langdon Lloyd
Ian Hogg
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