Tempest, The

Kino Video   (1979) / Region 1
Tempest, The

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"Full of magic and surprises . . . the most truly spectacular British film in years." -The London Times

The Tempest, the last of William Shakespeare's great plays, was adapted for the screen for the first time by Derek Jarman in 1979. Among the most visionary of modern film artists, Jarman, who died of AIDS in 1994, at age 52, was one of the first directors - outside of the porno circuit - to present openly gay material in feature-length films.

Shot on location at the ancient and ghostly Stoneleigh Abbey, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, the magician, who lives with his nubile daughter on an enchanted island and punishes his enemies when they are shipwrecked there. It's a study of sexual and political power in the guise of a fairy tale.

Jarman presents Shakespeare's intricate comedy of magic and revenge in a form that is at once faithful to the spirit of the play and an original and dazzling spectacle mixing Hollywood pastiche, high camp and gothic horror. His film recalls the innocent homeroticism of Pasolini't versions of classics, while its lush sense of décor and color is worthy of Minnelli.

The film's master stroke is the finale, a wedding feast designed and choreographed as a full-scale production number, with the veteran black musical star Elisabeth Welch (Song of Freedom, Big Fella) wafting her way through a chorus line of hunky sailors as she belts out "Stormy Weather." It's one of the great scenes in British cinema.


  • Length
  • Rating NR
  • Released:
  • Added Jan 07 2000
  • Production Year 1979
  • Empire SKU 11411
  • UPC Code 738329014728
  • Studio  Kino Video
  • Packaging Keep
  • Number of Discs 1
  • Disc SS-SL


Three Rare Short Films by Derek Jarman:A Journey To Avebury, Garden of Luxor, Art of Mirrors
The Text of the Original Theatrical Presskit For The Tempest


  • Audio
    English Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Video
    Standard 1.33:1 Color



  • Don Boyd
  • Guy Ford
  • Mordecai Schreiber


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