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Dance of Death (film)

The Dance of Death is a 1969 film version of the play The Dance of Death by August Strindberg as presented by the National Theatre Company.[1] It stars Laurence Olivier and Geraldine McEwan.[2] The play was directed by Glen Byam Shaw, and the movie version was directed by David Giles.[3][4] Olivier reprised the role of Edgar, Geraldine reprised her role of Alice, but Robert Stephens, who played Kurt, was replaced by Robert Lang.[5]

The Dance of Death
Dance of Death (1969 film).jpg
Directed byDavid Giles
Produced byJohn Brabourne
Screenplay byC. D. Locock (translation)
Based onThe Dance of Death
by August Strindberg
StarringLaurence Olivier
Geraldine McEwan
Robert Lang
Music byAnthony Bowles
CinematographyGeoffrey Unsworth
Edited byReginald Mills
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 1969 (1969-08) (UK)
  • July 13, 1979 (1979-07-13) (New York, US)
Running time
149 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Previous filmed National Theatre productions include Uncle Vanya (1963) and Othello (1965).[6][7] Both of these are available on DVD; however, as of 2017, The Dance of Death has never been released on DVD or video.[8][9]


An egocentric artillery Captain and his venomous wife engage in savage unremitting battles in their isolated island fortress off the coast of Sweden at the turn of the century. Alice, a former actress who sacrificed her career for secluded military life with Edgar, reveals on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary, the veritable hell their marriage has been. Edgar, an aging schizophrenic who refuses to acknowledge his severe illness, struggles to sustain his ferocity and arrogance with an animal disregard for other people. Sensing that Alice, together with her cousin and would-be lover, Kurt, may ally against him, retaliates with vicious force. Alice lures Kurt into the illusion of sharing a passionate assignation and recruits him in a plot to destroy Edgar.



  1. ^ "The Dance of Death (1969) - David Giles | Cast and Crew". AllMovie.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (13 July 1979). "Film: 'Dance of Death'" – via
  3. ^ "Production of The Dance of Death | Theatricalia".
  4. ^ "The Dance of Death (1968)". BFI.
  5. ^ "21 February 1967: Olivier and McEwan do Dance Of Death". Official London Theatre.
  6. ^ "Uncle Vanya (1963) - Stuart Burge, Laurence Olivier | Cast and Crew". AllMovie.
  7. ^ "Othello (1965) - Stuart Burge | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "Uncle Vanya (1963) · British Universities Film & Video Council".
  9. ^ Shakespeare, William; Rasmussen, Eric (26 August 2009). "Othello". Macmillan International Higher Education – via Google Books.

External linksEdit