Peter Brook directs his own adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tragedy.

Director Peter Brook was of the opinion that no one in the latter half of the 20th century would sit still for a Shakespearean presentation without the added fillips of bizarre costumes and tricky camera pyrotechnics. Fortunately, Brook keeps his excesses in check in his 1971 version of King Lear. With equal good fortune, his Lear is Paul Scofield, whose portrayal of the senile old ruler, whose susceptibility to flattery proves his undoing, is nothing short of brilliant. The stark terrain of Denmark stands in for England in this version, adding a brooding texture to the tragedy that threatens to overwhelm the dialogue at times. Lear's daughters are played by Irene Worth (Goneril), Susan Engel (Regan), and Anne-lise Gabold (Cordelia); others in the cast are Alan Webb (Gloucester), Cyril Cusack (Albany), Patrick Magee (Cornwall), and Jack MacGowran (the Fool). 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.

Paul Scofield as King Lear
Irene Worth as Goneril
Cyril Cusack as Albany
Susan Engel as Regan
Tom Fleming as Kent
Anne-Lise Gabold as Cordelia
Ian Hogg as Edmund
Robert Langdon Lloyd as Edgar (as Robert Lloyd)
Jack MacGowran as Fool
Patrick Magee as Cornwall
Barry Stanton as Oswald
Alan Webb as Gloucester
Søren Elung Jensen as Duke of Burgundy

Certificate PG
Running Time 132 mins
Region 2
Main Language English
Subtitles English, Greek, Hungarian, Italian
Dubbing Language Italian
Release Date 06/02/2005

Number of Discs 1
Special Features
Interactive Menus

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