Based on Shakesphere's play, Verdi's opera depicts the devastating effects of jealousy, "...the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon". Believing Otello has promoted the... See full summary »



(libretto), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

La traviata (1982)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Violetta meets Alfredo and quickly falls for him. After the lovers run away together, they live in bliss for a short time. However, Alfredo's father, Giorgio, starts to interfere, concerned... See full summary »

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Teresa Stratas, Plácido Domingo, Cornell MacNeil
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

THE GO-GO BOYS: The Inside Story of Cannon Films is a documentary about two Israeli-born cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who in pursuit of the American Dream turned the Hollywood ... See full summary »

Director: Hilla Medalia
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jon Voight, Charles Bronson
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its... See full summary »

Director: Gérard Corbiau
Stars: Benoît Magimel, Boris Terral, Tchéky Karyo
Sparrow (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Catania, Sicilia 1854. A serious epidemic of cholera is hitting the region. Maria a 16 years old novice leaves her convent and returns her home to avoid contamination. Here she finds a ... See full summary »

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Angela Bettis, Johnathon Schaech, Eva Alexander
Camping (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The two young lovers Tao and Valeria decide to go and enjoy a beautiful holiday in privacy, away from the daily routine and their parents. After a journey full of adventures, aboard a ... See full summary »

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Marisa Allasio, Nino Manfredi, Paolo Ferrari
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A fanciful biopic of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini as a very young man.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophie Ward
Shaft (1971)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.

Director: Gordon Parks
Stars: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Graham Faulkner, Judi Bowker, Leigh Lawson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The history of the independent film company, The Cannon Film Group, Inc..

Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Sam Firstenberg, David Paulsen, Luigi Cozzi
Action | Adventure

Drawn out of retirement by the murder of an old friend, Allan Quatermain and his family, aided by an unlikely ally, must travel into the jungles of Central Africa to a legendary lost city ... See full summary »

Director: Menahem Golan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Katia Ricciarelli ...
Petra Malakova ...
Massimo Foschi ...
Edwin Francis ...
Sergio Nicolai ...
Remo Remotti ...
Antonio Pierfederici ...
Ezio Di Cesare ...
Cassio (voice)
John Macurdy ...
Lodovico (voice)
Constantin Zaharia ...
Roderigo (voice)
Edward Toumajian ...
Montano (voice)
Giannicola Pigliucci ...
Brabantio (voice)


Based on Shakesphere's play, Verdi's opera depicts the devastating effects of jealousy, "...the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon". Believing Otello has promoted the fast-rising Cassio over himself, Iago plots to destroy both Cassio and Otello. Iago convinces the jealous Otello that his beautiful wife Desdemona is unfaithful, and that Cassio is her lover. Jealousy is followed by tragedy, then retribution, "Has Heaven no more thunderbolts?" Written by Mike Smith <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

12 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Othellos  »

Box Office


$189,042 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Franco Zeffirelli later said that out of all the films he ever made, "Otello" is his favorite, and admitted that after he made the picture, he had "a bit of a crisis" because he felt that he could never be able to duplicate that achievement. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Bravo Zeffirelli!
10 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is easily one of Franco Zeffirelli's better opera films. The cinematography is excellent, perfectly capturing the beautiful costumes and locations used here. A chief example of beauty was Desdemona lying on the bed all pure, as white as snow, as is said in the Shakespeare play. The subtitles are also very easy to read, and the plot while shortened is faithful to the play and to the opera's libretto. The music is just superlative. Verdi is without doubt up there with Puccini as the finest Italian opera composer, composing masterpieces such as La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Aida, and Otello based on Shakespeare's play deserves to be up there with them. So many highlights to choose from, there is Exultate, there are a couple of beautiful choruses and the riveting revenge duet between Otello and Iago, but my favourite has to be Desdemona's beautiful but haunting Willow Song(only in excerpt form here), that can give you goosebumps, because the repeated word Salce is quite hypnotic and foreboding. As for the singing, what can I say, fantastic. Placido Domingo was just brilliant, yes in the play, Othello is supposed to be black, I am trying to avoid being racist here, but Domingo is such a versatile talented singer, with a phenomenal voice, and a stage presence that does make Pavarotti inferior in comparison, it is forgiven. Katia Ricciarelli looked beautiful as the tragic Desdemona, and her voice was like an angel, in one word stunning. And Justino Diaz is very convincing as the hissable villain Iago, especially in the blasphemous but chilling Credo, who manipulates Otello into believing that Desdemona is unfaithful in quite an entertaining way. Overall, a very well done film adaptation of Verdi's opera. Bravo Zeffirelli! 10/10 Bethany Cox

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Otello (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page