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Othello (1951)

The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 12 September 1955 (USA)
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

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Cast

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Robert Coote ...
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Nicholas Bruce ...
Michael Laurence ...
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Storyline

Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian aristocrat, elopes with Moorish military hero Othello, to the great resentment of Othello's envious underling Iago. Alas, Iago knows Othello's weakness, and with chilling malice works on him with but too good effect... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Taglines:

Powerful drama of uncontrolled human emotion! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Othello  »

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Technical Specs

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| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Welles scholar Jonathon Rosenbaum, not until the final stages of production did the film's producers know that Welles had made two separate versions of the film, one for America and another for Europe (which is the one that premiered at Cannes in 1952.) The restored "Othello" ignored the European elements. In the European version the credits are spoken by Welles, and there is no narration. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: There was once in Venice a moor, Othello, who for his merits is the affairs of war was held in great esteem. It happened that he fell in love with a young and noble lady called Desdemona, who drawn by his virtue became equally enamoured of Othello...
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Connections

Version of Otello (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Great film, but not "lost"
30 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

I will not go into the film as many already have said how it is a great work of art despite its "troubled" filming history.

This film is now advertised and available as a "restored" dvd of a "lost" Welles film. But DO NOT be deceived. Whereas the 1998 cut of Touch of Evil was "restored" using a Welles memo as guidelines, Othello was restored by presuming many things. First, dialogue was put in sync and unintelligible diaglogue was "voiced over." And second, the original score was redone, but not exactly as the original. You could almost say a new score was used in the "restored" film. The original cut was Welles' 1952 European version which has only ever been availible as a (OOP) 1995 Criterion LaserDisc. As Welles' daughter owns the rights to Othello, that's the 1992 "restored" version which she also helped on, it is the only one currently availible for purchase in the US (as she receives no money for the 1995 CR laserdisc, she forced Criterion to stop making it.)

While many casual fans will not notice or care about the little changes, don't be deceived into thinking this is "Orson's intended version." Also DO NOT be deceived into thinking this is a lost film. It was only lost in the sense that it had no distribution until the early 90's.


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