7.8/10
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Othello (1952)

The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (original title)
The general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with one of his officers Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter lieutenant named Iago.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Micheál MacLiammóir ...
Robert Coote ...
...
Suzanne Cloutier ...
Hilton Edwards ...
Nicholas Bruce ...
Michael Laurence ...
Fay Compton ...
...
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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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Orson Welles' magnificent screening of Shakespeare's immortal tragedy See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

12 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Othello  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lengthy shoot is chronicled in-depth in Micheál MacLiammóir's book "Put Money in Thy Purse". 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 Othello (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Dimensional Filmmaking
3 July 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Commenting on Shakespeare films is rather like admiring Easter Eggs.

First the inside: this was never a great play, relative to Shakespeare's other works. His great plays are about ideas, with characters as vectors to prod and activate them. This play is merely about characters, which makes it attractive to actors. That's certainly why Welles selected it.

Welles is the Sinatra of dramatic reading, with phrasing mastered in his radio days. All else is acceptable (at least to my tastes) so far as the play goes.

Now the shell, and here is what makes this film one of the most important. When Welles moved into film, he did so as an architect. He understood that great film constructs a space that includes the audience. So he worked with the most direct tools, buildings themselves. These sets are remarkable. I cannot imagine how he found them, how he could have seen the possibilities.

Selection aside, how he uses the spaces! View this film at least once in silence. I rate Welles as one of the 20th century's great architects and predict that this film will be mined when we get around to really creating cyberbuilding.


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