Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex

LENGTH: 88 min
YEAR: 1957
GENRE: Classic
FORMATS: 35mm & Retail DVD
DIRECTOR: Sir Tyrone Guthrie
CAST: Douglas Campbell, Eleanor Stuart, Robert Goodier, William Hutt, Donald Davis, Douglas Rain, Tony Van Bridge, Eric House, Roland Bull, Robert Christie, Ted Follows, David Gardner, Bruno Gerussi, Richard Howard
CREW: PRODUCER: Leonard Kipnis; Based on the play by Sophocles and translated by William Butler Yeats; CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger Barlow; COMPOSER: Cedric Thorpe Davie; MUSIC: Louis Applebaum


This definitive adaptation of Sophocles’ greatest play is a must for anyone interested in the dramatic arts. Sir Tyrone Guthrie’s adaptation is blessed with a remarkable ensemble cast and translated by no less a talent than William Butler Yeats.

This powerful Greek tragedy is made all the more compelling by the actors wearing masks to establish the characters in the tradition of authentic Greek drama. The remarkable thing about this filmed version is that it is timeless in its importance as a record of a one-of-akind performance at a time when classic literature was often the subject of cinema rather than the less challenging special effects of today. The superb acting and diction of Douglas Campbell as Oedipus, Douglas Rain as the Messenger (also the voice of HAL in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), Eleanor Stuart as Jocasta and a myriad of classically trained actors, like William Shatner, make this film, as so aptly stated by the New York Times, “Spectacular and awesome…a jewel of great price!”



The New York Times
By Bosley Crowther, 1957

“Viewers who watched the performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex Sunday night on the Omnibus television program have a convenient opportunity to observe a yet more colorful and stylized presentation of the classic Greek drama on the screen… The most striking aspect, after one recognizes the fact that this is a literal performance of the drama within the compass of a single platform stage, is a theatrical aberration: the actors all wear masks of a monstrous and grotesque nature. These masks, along with their costumes, which are of austere but dominating colors, give an almost mechanical quality to the human forms.”


1957 Oedipus Rex
1952 Carmen
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