In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
Venice, 1596. Melancholy Antonio loves the youthful Bassanio, so when Bassanio asks for 3000 ducats, Antonio says yes before knowing it's to sue for the hand of Portia. His capital tied up in merchant ships at sea, Antonio must go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender he reviles. Shylock wraps his grudge in kindness, offering a three-month loan at no interest, but if not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of flesh. The Jew's daughter elopes with a Christian, whetting Shylock's hatred. While Bassanio's away wooing Portia, Antonio's ships founder, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. With court assembled and a judgment due, Portia swings into action to save Bassanio's friend. Written by
The original play script opens with Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio on a Venice street. It does not open with the scene show at the beginning of the movie where the Jews are being persecuted, and Antonio spits on Shylock. See more »
In Venice in 1598 a woman with no head-dress and her hair flowing loose would be taken for a whore, yet this is how Portia frequently appears. See more »
Intolerance of the Jews was a fact of 16th Century life even in Venice, the most powerful and liberal city state in Europe.
By law the Jews were forced to live in the old walled foundry or 'Geto' area of the city. After sundown the gate was locked and guarded by Christians
In the daytime any man leaving the ghetto had to wear a red hat to mark him as a Jew.
Man in Crowd:
The Jews were forbidden to own property. So they practised usury, the lending of money at interest. This was ...
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Brilliant film, if ever so slightly too long (Pacino is magnificent)
this film was truly amazing to watch, the costumes and scenery were first-class. Michael Radford has done a tremendous job, on a fairly constrained budget (as he said at the London Premiere). Costumes and general time period pieces were exquisite and Oscar nominations for these would seem in the running.
The acting was simply superb. Al Pacino was (as ALWAYS) perfect. He captured the torture of emotions that run through Shylock impeccably and easily stole the spotlight whenever he was on screen. Jeremy Irons paved the way for great British acting in his earlier times, and now has done the same. Also Lynn Collins, a fairly recent newcomer was perfect as Portia. She was stunning to look at and managed to pull of the speeches with grace.
Although i have all this praise, the film was definitely over-long and many scenes seemed to me like they could have done with a few edits or too. However, the atmosphere of Venice was amazing and it truly felt real in all the mannerisms of the actors.
Ultimately a very successful and ambitious film, that leaves nothing to the imagination, as it is a very realistic approach to Shakespeare. Beautiful to look at and incredible actors too (especially for Pacino) make this a great film that i would watch again an recommend at the drop of a Venetian hat.
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