MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 26,472 this week

Othello (1981)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 October 1981 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 284 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

ON DISC

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 90 titles
created 10 May 2011
 
a list of 1255 titles
created 28 Aug 2011
 
a list of 1239 titles
created 31 Oct 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 9 months ago
 
f
a list of 82 titles
created 1 month 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 7.2/10

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... 

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 (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The general Othello is manipulated into thinking his new wife has been carrying on an affair with one of his officers, when in reality it's all part of the scheme of a bitter lieutenant.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote
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
Selected Exits (TV Movie 1993)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Tristram Powell
Stars: James Arlon, Gavin Ashcroft, John Grillo
The Dawning (1988)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An IRA gunman on the run from the government. He meets up with an idealistic young woman and attempts to win her support for his cause.

Director: Robert Knights
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Rebecca Pidgeon, Jean Simmons
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Bill is a man who's very bitter about his divorce and losing custody of his son. So, when one of his friends is being sued for divorce by his wife so that she can enter a lesbian ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter
Julius Caesar (TV Movie 1979)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A man new to a smallish British town joins an amateur theatre company. Once there, he discovers that the drama on stage is quite often nothing compared to what's happening behind the scenes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Briers
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
The Tempest (TV Movie 1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Exiled Prospero lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero's usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all of their lives.

Director: John Gorrie
Stars: Michael Hordern, Derek Godfrey, David Waller
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fact-based story of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr., son and namesake of the famed pilot, and ensuing trial of accused and convicted killer, Bruno Hauptmann.

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Cliff De Young, Anthony Hopkins, Denise Alexander
Titus Andronicus (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Having subdued the Goths, warrior Titus Andronicus returns to Rome to bury his sons, with Gothic Queen Tamora and her retinue as captives. The newly-dead Roman Emperor's two sons, ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: Paul Davies Prowles, Edward Hardwicke, Walter Brown
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

The interior design of the production was based on the interiors of the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino, whilst the street set was based on a real street in Cyprus. 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 Ballet of Othello (1960) 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 13 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:
?