Shakespeare's historical tragedy of the rise and fall of Julius Caesar, told in fifteen scenes.

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(scenario) (as Liebler), (play)
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William V. Ranous ...
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Earle Williams ...
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Storyline

An elaborate production of Shakespeare's admirable play. Scene 1. Street in Rome. Casca and Trebonius upbraid the citizens for praising Caesar. Scene 2. The Forum. A soothsayer bids Caesar "beware of the ides of March." Scene 3. Mark Antony wins the race and "thrice he offers Caesar a crown." Scene 4. Cassius tempts Brutus to join the conspiracy against Caesar. Scene 5. Brutus' garden. Meeting of the conspirators. Scene 6. Caesar's palace. Calphurnia tells Caesar of her dream and begs him not to go to the senate. The conspirators enter, laugh at his fears, urge and got his consent to go. Scene 7. Street near Capitol. The soothsayer again warns Caesar. Scene 8. The Capitol. The assassination of Caesar. Scene 9. The Forum. Brutus addresses the mob. Antony enters with Caesar's body. Scene 10. Brutus' camp near Sardis. Cassius upbraids Brutus. Scene 11. Brutus' tent. Quarrel. Caesar's ghost. Scene 12. Plains of Phillipi. Armies of Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar and Brutus and Cassius. ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Short | Drama | History

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Release Date:

1 December 1908 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Julius Caesar, an Historical Tragedy  »

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1.33 : 1
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The first version of one of the most remade movies of all time. See more »

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Version of Julius Caesar (1914) See more »

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User Reviews

 
So You Could Say You've Seen the Play
4 September 2016 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

There had been attempts to put Shakespeare on film at least since 1898's MACBETH. At first they showed brief excerpts of celebrated stage actors, like Johnston Forbes-Robertson as the Thane of Cawdor or Herbert Beerbohm-Tree as King John. These were never more than merest indications of what the stage performances looked like. The short length of films, the perceived superiority of the stage and, of course, the severe limitation on dialogue because of the movies' silence made a mockery of any attempt to film Shakespeare -- or indeed, any major work of stage or literature.

That is the problem with this version of JULIUS CAESAR. For most of this film, what you get is people in togas waving their arms about on a severely bound stage, with occasional titles. If you knew what was going on, you could tell what was happening; otherwise, not.

It does open up at the end, when Caesar's ghost pops into existence in Brutus' tent before the battle; and the final sequence of the battle, shot outdoors, opens up the screen and offers a cinematic vision.

For most of this movie, though, the work is too stagebound, too worshipful and far too short to make this more than a failed bid for respectability. It would take people like Percy Stowe, with his playfulness with stage and film grammars in THE TEMPEST -- produced the same year -- to start to offer a worthwhile vision of Shakespeare for movies.


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