Othello

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Orson Welles's version of the Shakespearean tragedy, with the director also turning in a magnificent performance as the title character. Though he had spent only three weeks shooting his MACBETH, Welles devoted four years to this picture, a production that proceeded by fits and starts as he struggled to scrape together cash from various sources. (As part...read more

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Orson Welles's version of the Shakespearean tragedy, with the director also turning in a magnificent performance as the title character. Though he had spent only three weeks shooting his MACBETH, Welles devoted four years to this picture, a production that proceeded by fits and starts as

he struggled to scrape together cash from various sources. (As part of his fund-raising efforts, Welles did acting duties in Henry King's PRINCE OF FOXES, Henry Hathaway's THE BLACK ROSE, and Carol Reed's THE THIRD MAN.) Though the final result cannot disguise its on-again, off-again production

history--sloppy sound synchronization, cutaways to hide absent actors, lines dubbed by performers other than those onscreen--it nonetheless stands as an important part of the Welles canon, and one of the finest screen adaptations of Shakespeare. The text of the original play has been slashed to

its bare bones, with bravura cinematography and editing also helping make this a taut, visceral experience. Michael MacLiammoir, an old Abbey Theatre friend of Welles's, makes a truly devious and convincing Iago, and Suzanne Cloutier is a serenely beautiful Desdemona. OTHELLO co-won the Best

Feature Film prize at Cannes in 1952, but enjoyed little commercial success in the US at the time. A partially restored version was released to considerable critical acclaim in 1992.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Orson Welles's version of the Shakespearean tragedy, with the director also turning in a magnificent performance as the title character. Though he had spent only three weeks shooting his MACBETH, Welles devoted four years to this picture, a production that… (more)

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