MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 430 this week

Othello (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Romance  -  12 October 1981 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 260 users  
Reviews: 14 user

A general becomes convinced that his wife is having an affair, even though there is no evidence.

Director:

Writer:

(play)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1228 titles
created 28 Aug 2011
 
a list of 88 titles
created 04 Jul 2012
 
a list of 104 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 19 Jun 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Othello" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Othello (TV Movie 1981)

Othello (TV Movie 1981) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Othello.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Macbeth (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Macbeth and his wife murder Duncan in order to gain his crown, but the bloodbath doesn't stop there, and things supernatural combine to bring the Macbeths down.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Brenda Bruce, Eileen Way, Anne Dyson
Hamlet (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's remarriage to Claudius... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Nicol Williamson, Judy Parfitt, Anthony Hopkins
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.

Director: Rodney Bennett
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart
Peter and Paul (TV Movie 1981)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Peter and Paul assume leadership of the Church as they struggle against violent opposition to the teachings of Christ and their own personal conflicts.

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Robert Foxworth, Eddie Albert
Romeo & Juliet (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson
Othello (1922)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on Shakespeare's play: The treacherous Iago plans to ruin the life of Othello by provoking him to jealousy.

Director: Dimitri Buchowetzki
Stars: Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Ica von Lenkeffy
Selected Exits (TV Movie 1993)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Tristram Powell
Stars: James Arlon, Gavin Ashcroft, John Grillo
The Taming of the Shrew (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The swaggering Petruchio, eager to wive it wealthily in Padua, agrees to marry the spitting hellcat, Katherine.

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Simon Chandler, Anthony Pedley, John Franklyn-Robbins
The Tenth Man (TV Movie 1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, this is a story of a French advocate Chavel who, while imprisoned by the Germans during the occupation, trades his material possessions... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi
Julius Caesar (TV Movie 1979)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for Brutus and the republic.

Director: Herbert Wise
Stars: Richard Pasco, Charles Gray, Keith Michell
To Be the Best (TV Movie 1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The Barbara Taylor Bradford trilogy that began with A Woman of Substance ends with this epic tale! Paula O' Neill feuds with her cousins as she fights to save her grandmother's business-and struggles to salvage her marriage.

Director: Tony Wharmby
Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins, Stephanie Beacham
Othello (Video 1979)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Video production of Shakespeare's stage play about Othello, a Moorish general in Venice deeply in love with his wife Desdemona and, unbeknown to him, deeply hated by his trusted ensign and best friend, Iago, who has death on his mind.

Director: Joseph Papp
Stars: Frances Conroy, Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Pedley ...
...
Geoffrey Chater ...
Alexander Davion ...
...
David Yelland ...
Joseph O'Conor ...
Peter Walmsley ...
John Barron ...
Seymour Green ...
First Senator
Howard Goorney ...
Second Senator
...
Rosemary Leach ...
Tony Steedman ...
Max Harvey ...
First Gentleman
Edit

Storyline

Iago and a comrade-in-arms are outside the Venice home of Desdemona's father, who does not yet know that she has eloped with Othello. Iago confides to his friend -- who had hoped to marry Desdemona -- that he serves Othello to further his own ends. Venice needs Othello to protect its commercial interests in Cyprus where the Turkish fleet is headed. Desdemona insists on going to Cyprus, too. In Cyprus, Iago plots to convince Othello that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio. A lot more than political ambition seems to be motivating Iago. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

James Earl Jones was originally cast as Othello but British Equity refused to issue an acting permit for Jones as they disapproved of an American actor being cast in a British adaptation of a Shakespeare play. See more »

Goofs

Shortly before stabbing himself Othello bounces the blade of the dagger on the bed and we both hear and see the blade retract. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Really Great Star Performance, but the Othello is a Problem
13 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

I believe it was Laurence Olivier who theorized that William Shakespeare and his lead actor Richard Burbage were bending elbows one night when Burbage drunkenly taunted, "I can play any role you can write." And Shakespeare said, "Oh yeah?" and wrote Othello.

The play is indeed entitled "Othello," but the focus is almost always stolen by the villain. Bob Hoskins here is a brilliant Iago, character motivations for once crystal clear, his accent emphasizing class conflict, his ready laughter only occasionally too much. You will not find a better Iago anywhere.

We know that James Earl Jones was the first choice to star in this production, and that British Equity threatened to close down not just the one show but the whole BBC Shakespeare series if a single non-British actor was hired.

However, when James Earl Jones played Othello on Broadway, it was common wisdom that Christopher Plummer's Iago stole the show from him. So we shouldn't fantasize too much that Jones's presence here might have changed everything.

Anthony Hopkins begins as a very confident character. However it is not possible to believe his backstory, that recitation of bravery and romance that wins Desdemona's heart. Hopkins doesn't look like a general, just like an earnest actor trying to solve problems. He hits a sweet spot just after Iago's first insinuations, when Desdemona appears and charms him all over again. After that, the performance goes downhill, and some of his choices undermine the later scenes.

Is it miscasting, or just a play where the gargantuan scale of emotions defies reduction to television scale? The Welles and Olivier productions were designed for large screens, not a small one.

The much-loved Penelope Wilton here is the most "English" Desdemona I've ever seen. She does everything right, but there's nothing remotely Mediterranean about this daughter of Venice. Rosemary Leach gives the performance of her career as Emilia, honest and vigorous without a cliché in sight. The rest of the cast is excellent, with an overall energy level higher than the norm in this series.

Jonathan Miller's direction concentrates on the domestic side of the drama, downplaying the public aspects, and bringing his background as a neurologist to the various varieties of mental illness on display. The visuals are once again Old Masters, with some lovely Georges de la Tour effects over candle-lit dinner.

However the dramatic heights are not successfully stormed. If you want to see Othello with the thunder Shakespeare implied, go instead to Verdi's opera "Otello," which concentrates on the core of the conflict and distills sheer dynamite. Placido Domingo can be fairly stolid and workmanlike in the part, so I'd recommend you track down a black and white Italian TV production starring Mario del Monaco for maximum impact. Here is the heroic "punch in the stomach" Othello you've always dreamed about.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Othello (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?