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




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


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


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

12 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jonathan Miller based the visual design on the work of El Greco. See more »


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 »


Version of Othello (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

A BBC-TV production that should be given greater publicity
25 August 2001 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

A most excellent production of one of the Bard's more difficult plays mainly because of the controversy in these politically correct times of a white actor blacking up to play the lead. But since Othello is a Moor and thus a Mediterranean type he does not have to be portrayed as an African. Remember the Moors ruled Spain for a long time until expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella so Othello does not have to be any darker, than a Spaniard. Anthony Hopkins gives a masterful performance as the Moor, one of the best I have seen comparable only with Placido Domingo in the opera Otello. His gradual change of character from gentle loving husband to insane jealousy is extremely well done and his way with the verse gives full meaning to Shakespeare's words. He is well supported by the cast of less well known stage actors. For me the only jarring note was Bob Hoskins portrayal of Iago, so obviously a nasty piece of work that one wonders how Othello would be taken in by such an overt villain. His giggling also becomes irritating, definitely not the best Iago I have seen. One thing is sure, this production emphasises what a great Shakespearean actor the stage lost when Hopkins left for Hollywood. Had he remained in the theatre he would easily have outstripped Richard Burton's reputation and maybe even Olivier's. Anyone who values real Shakespearean acting should not miss this production.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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