Oedipus Rex looks just like what it was: a photographed stage play. Any cinematic deficiencies are, however, quickly forgotten as the "magic" of the Sophocles tragedy (translated by William Butler Yeats) takes hold. Staged by Sir Tyrone Guthrie at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare festival, the film spotlights such formidable Canadian-based talents as Douglas Campbell (Oedipus Rex) and Douglas Rain (Messenger). The story, of course, concerns Oedipus' detective work in locating the murderer of his father, and his nonplused (to say the least) reaction when he discovers that, not only is hehimself the guilty party, but his wife Jocasta is actually his own mother. When Douglas Rain comes on screen, see if you can pin down his voice. That's right: Rain was the dispassionate voice of homicidal computer Hal 9000 in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (Douglas Campbell was later in the McKenzie Brothers' slapstick comedy Strange Brew, but that's hardly in the same category as 2001). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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