Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »
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Edna May Oliver
Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, it's terrible to be around him. That's the reason why his wife Brita divorced him; although she still loves him and works with him, she couldn't stand living with him anymore. So when Anthony accepts to play Othello, he devotes himself entirely to the part, but it soon overwhelms him and with each day his mind gets filled more and more with Othello's murderous jealousy. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
In movie, Anthony John stars in a Broadway production of "Othello" that plays more than 300 performances and runs over a year. In reality, no production of a William Shakespeare play has chalked up anywhere near that many performances on Broadway; at best, most are lucky to run several months, like Richard Burton's four-month stint in a 1964 production of "Hamlet", which undoubtedly owed much of its success to his then-notorious relationship with Elizabeth Taylor. See more »
At the end of the last "Othello", Tony appears to be distracted by someone just off-stage. We know that Bill, the policeman, and the restaurant owner are standing where he is looking, but the only one he knows is Bill. He had seen the restaurant owner only once, and surely couldn't have recognized him in the dark; and he had never met the policeman. His final act implies that he knows he has been found out, but what gave him that idea? See more »
Ronald Colman gives an electrifying performance as Tony John, a Broadway actor who can't separate his offstage life from Shakespeare's Othello, the character he plays on stage....Two important scenes illustrate Tony's dilemma. The first one takes place in producer Max Lasker's office. Acting is a matter of talent for the practical-minded Lasker. But Donlan, Tony's friend, disagrees: "No, no. When you do it like Tony does it, it's much more. The way he has of becoming someone else every night...so completely. No, don't tell me his whole system isn't affected by it."....The other scene occurs in waitress Pat Kroll's apartment. Tony tells her his name is Martin. She thanks him. Then he says: "Or Paul. Hamlet. Joe. And maybe Othello."....When Tony begins rehearsing Othello, we learn that though he's trying to keep his real life separated from his stage life, "The part begins to seep into your life, and the battle begins. Reality against imagination." He can't keep the two separated: In his mind Pat is Desdemona and he's Othello, and he wrongly believes she has been unfaithful to him. He murders her....Colman's bravura performance, in a complex and difficult role, earned him 1947's Academy Award for Best Actor. Oscar nominations went to Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin for Best Original Screenplay. Not to be overlooked is Milton Krasner's atomspheric cinematography.
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