Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
I was in high school when this was first broadcast on public television. I liked it better than what was then the latest movie version, because the movie cut out too many lines. I'll admit that Alan Rickman made an excellent Tybalt, but that's not the only memorable performance in that production. Michael Hordern was fine as Capulet. The big surprise for me was Celia Johnson as Juliet's nurse. She was such a wonderful actress that it more than made up for the fact that she was way too old for the part. (It was years later, after her death, I believe, that I saw her in her most famous role in the David Lean movie "Brief Encounter".) It's been over twenty years since I've seen that TV production and I don't think I'll ever forget it.
I felt I had to cast my vote for this picture. The Sixth Sense, just to take one example, is a pretty good movie, but it does not deserve a higher ranking than La Grande illusion. I believe one of the problems that some people have in appreciating this movie is that they don't know enough of the historical context that makes the film so meaningful.
This is the best film of a Shakespeare play that I have ever seen. (Throne of Blood is a great movie, but it's an adaptation, not really Shakespeare's Macbeth.) What makes the difference for me are the outstanding performances by the entire cast, not just Olivier. Maggie Smith's Desdemona is truly touching as a woman overwhelmed by fate. A young Derek Jacobi hits all the right notes as Michael Cassio: smart, loyal, eager to please, but a little immature. I haven't seen any other roles played by either Frank Finlay or Joyce Redman, but in any case, they're excellent here. I much prefer Olivier's Othello to his film role as Hamlet. That's because too many of Hamlet's lines were cut from that version. More text gives more characterization to Othello, and gives Olivier the chance to really fill the role, which he does beautifully. My only real complaint is that on the videotape, the widescreen picture is cropped too much. Everybody who is a fan of Shakespeare or any of the above mentioned actors should see this movie!