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Othello (1981)

TV-14 | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 12 October 1981
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 ...
Peter Walmsley ...
John Barron ...
Duke of Venice
Seymour Green ...
First Senator
Howard Goorney ...
Second Senator
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>

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Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

12 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Anthony Hopkins and Bob Hoskins appeared Mussolini and I (1985) and Nixon (1995). 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 Otello (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

A brilliant bit of casting solves a riddle . . .
19 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

Over the years, while admiring the craftsmanship inherent in "Othello," I had always been bothered by one question. I'd studied the play in school, of course (seems to have been mandatory in my day), and I'd seen the usual versions (Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, etc.), yet always this one nagging question kept gnawing at me, kept me from fully appreciating this play . ..

How in hell could Othello ever let himself be taken in by so obvious a viper as Iago?

Enter the BBC with its production of "William Shakespeare's Othello," with a particularly brilliant bit of casting: Bob Hoskins as Iago. Roly-poly, giggling, everybody's friend and more than a bit of a buffoon, to boot -- until, that is, he's by himself and you suddenly understand the true nature of evil.

And suddenly, I gained a true appreciation of the play. Simply because some casting director stretched himself (or herself) beyond the tried-and-true glowering serpentine approaches (a la Frank Finlayson in the Olivier production, etc.) which had been the norm.

It also helps, of course, that Hoskins is one truly fine actor.

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