7.7/10
6,242
46 user 42 critic

Othello (1951)

The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 12 September 1955 (USA)
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

Director:

Writer:

(play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Macbeth (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
The Stranger (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
Othello (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A general's marriage is destroyed when a vengeful lieutenant convinces him that his new wife has been unfaithful.

Director: Stuart Burge
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Robert Lang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello
The Trial (1962)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Arnoldo Foà, Jess Hahn
The Immortal Story (TV Movie 1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the Portuguese town of Macao, a wealthy trader named Charles Clay hires two people to recreate a story of a sailor who is paid to impregnate a man's wife.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio
F for Fake (1973)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

Directors: Orson Welles, Gary Graver, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, François Reichenbach
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Suzanne Cloutier, Robert Coote
Don Quixote (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Don Quixote is an unfinished film project produced, written and directed by Orson Welles. Principal photography took place between 1957 and 1969. Test footage was filmed as early as 1955, ... See full summary »

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Oja Kodar, Patty McCormack, Pepe Mediavilla
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Iago
... Roderigo
... Othello
... Desdemona
... Brabantio
Nicholas Bruce ... Lodovico
Michael Laurence ... Cassio
... Emilia
... Bianca
Edit

Storyline

Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian aristocrat, elopes with Moorish military hero Othello, to the great resentment of Othello's envious underling Iago. Alas, Iago knows Othello's weakness, and with chilling malice works on him with but too good effect... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Orson Welles' magnificent screening of Shakespeare's immortal tragedy See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Othello  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Micheál MacLiammóir (Iago) and Hilton Edwards (Brabantio) were lovers in real life. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: There was once in Venice a moor, Othello, who for his merits is the affairs of war was held in great esteem. It happened that he fell in love with a young and noble lady called Desdemona, who drawn by his virtue became equally enamoured of Othello...
See more »

Connections

Version of Othello, der Mohr in Wien (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Welles' images match the beauty of Shakespeare's language
3 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Considerable controversy has surrounded the 1992 restoration and re-release of Orson Welles' "Othello." First, the film was wrongly labelled a "lost classic" - not technically true, as Welles aficionados will realize. More seriously, the restoration crew (under the aegis of Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles) re-synced the dialogue and re-recorded the musical score - an abomination to Welles purists. While it would have been preferable to adhere to Welles' vision for the film, such an endeavor becomes extremely difficult when no written record of Welles' intent exists (as it did with his famous 26-page memo to Universal regarding "Touch of Evil"). So it's true that the restored version lacks a degree of authenticity, but what are the alternatives? Grainy, scratched, poorly synced public domain prints (c.f. "Mr Arkadin" and "The Trial")? Or, worse, no available copy at all (c.f. "Chimes at Midnight")?

Anyway, on to the film. "Othello's" existence helps disprove the charges of profligacy and "fear of completion" that plagued Welles' career after "Citizen Kane." Shot over four years in Morocco and Italy, and financed largely by Welles himself, "Othello" manages to avoid a low-budget look, thanks largely to virtuoso editing that masks the incongruities of time and space. Welles' powers of invention are on full display here, most obviously in the famous Turkish bath scene (an improvised set necessitated by a lack of costumes). Set designer Alexandre Trauner's astute choice of Moroccan and Venetian locations instantly establishes a geographic authenticity; Welles initially exploits them for all their stark beauty before retreating into noirish interiors, underscoring Othello's descent into darkness.

Aside from Michael Macliammoir's chilling Method performance as Iago, the acting in Welles' "Othello" has been criticized as too restrained and modulated for Shakespearean tragedy. Such criticism is largely unwarranted, for this "Othello" is as much for the eyes as the ears: Welles' bold framing and expressionistic camera angles free the play from its theatrical moorings (pun intended), undermining the need for stage elocution. Indeed, the camera is the true star of this film, as Welles generates images that match the grandeur and eloquence of Shakespeare's language.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial