Otello

  • 1986
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Musical

Serious opera enthusiasts will be appalled by the cuts made in this cinematic version of the opera that Shakespeare inspired. But when Verdi and librettist Boito united to bring the Moor's tale to the musical stage in 1887, they had to make many alterations in the Bard's story, and director Franco Zeffirelli made similar cuts and pastes in order to make...read more

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Serious opera enthusiasts will be appalled by the cuts made in this cinematic version of the opera that Shakespeare inspired. But when Verdi and librettist Boito united to bring the Moor's tale to the musical stage in 1887, they had to make many alterations in the Bard's story, and

director Franco Zeffirelli made similar cuts and pastes in order to make it work for the screen. It's near the end of the 15th century on the isle of Cyprus. Otello (Placido Domingo), the governor of the island, is returning from a successful campaign against the Turks. Desdemona (Katia

Ricciarelli) awaits his return and pledges her love upon seeing him. Otello's friend, Iago (Justino Diaz), is angry because Cassio (Urbano Barberini) had been promoted over him, so he begins his treacherous behavior against Cassio and Otello. There is no question that Zeffirelli pulled out all

stops in order to get the story off a stage and make it feel like a movie. This $9 million production is fabulous to look at, and the acting is superb, but the picture is weak in the music department, mainly because some of the best music has been excised to make the movie zip along. On balance,

it's still a good introduction to the work of Verdi, although it's more a series of highlights than the entire opera. The acting is so uniformly good that the English subtitles are hardly needed.

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  • Released: 1986
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Serious opera enthusiasts will be appalled by the cuts made in this cinematic version of the opera that Shakespeare inspired. But when Verdi and librettist Boito united to bring the Moor's tale to the musical stage in 1887, they had to make many alteration… (more)

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