King Lear

King Lear

Movie: King Lear
Director: Peter Brook
Produced by: Athena, Columbia Pictures, Filmways, Filmways Pictures, Laterns, Royal Shakespeare Company
Released By:
MPAA Rating:

In director Peter Brook’s King Lear, Paul Scofield portrays the title character, a senile old ruler, whose susceptibility to flattery proves his undoing. The premise involves Lear’s ill-fated attempts to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters — a goal that ultimately leads to tragedy. The stark terrain of Denmark stands in for England in this version, adding a brooding visual texture to the picture that exists alongside the traditional Shakespearean dialogue. Lear’s daughters are played by Irene Worth, Susan Engel, and Anne-lise Gabold, others in the cast are Alan Webb, Cyril Cusack, Patrick Magee, and Jack MacGowran. Younger viewers and those faint at heart be warned: King Lear is one of Shakespeare’s most graphically violent works, and director Brook takes every opportunity to emphasize the carnage and gore.

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