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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Pedley ...
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Geoffrey Chater ...
...
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David Yelland ...
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Peter Walmsley ...
John Barron ...
Seymour Green ...
First Senator
Howard Goorney ...
Second Senator
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...
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Max Harvey ...
First Gentleman
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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>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

12 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello  »

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(DVD)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cedric Messina had initially planned to screen Othello during season two, and had attempted to cast James Earl Jones in the part. However, the British Actors' Equity Association had written into their contract with the BBC that only British actors could appear in the series, and if Messina cast Jones, Equity threatened to strike, thus crippling the show. Messina backed down and Othello was pushed back to a later season. By the time it was produced, Jonathan Miller had taken over as producer, and he decided that the play was not about race at all, casting a white actor in the role. 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 Othello (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A masterful production
19 December 1999 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite pieces of Shakespeare on film or video. Both Anthony Hopkins and Bob Hoskins give thrilling performances. The quiet subtlety of Hopkins interpretation sets the viewer up for a shock when Othello's enormous brutality is revealed. Bob Hoskins is alternately horrifying and loveable. His frequent giggling amuses, and then terrifies. Penelope Hilton's work as Desdemona is equally impressive to that of Hopkins and Hoskins. However, I think in casting her role older than usual, some of the character's innocence is lost. Technically, the lighting and camera work are beautifully handled. Jonathan Miller's direction is sensitive and incisive, and lovingly crafted.


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