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Othello (1951)

The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (original title)
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:

Orson Welles

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Micheál MacLiammóir ... Iago
Robert Coote ... Roderigo
Orson Welles ... Othello
Suzanne Cloutier ... Desdemona
Hilton Edwards ... Brabantio
Nicholas Bruce Nicholas Bruce ... Lodovico
Michael Laurence Michael Laurence ... Cassio
Fay Compton ... Emilia
Doris Dowling ... Bianca
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Morocco | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Othello See more »

Filming Locations:

Mogador, Morocco See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scalera Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby (re-release)| Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Suzanne Cloutier, who plays Desdemona, was actually the third actress to play the part during the lengthy shoot. One of the others was Cécile Aubry, who left the shoot when she was offered The Black Rose (1950), only to bump into Orson Welles on that set once more. 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 (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Great film, but not "lost"
30 March 2003 | by colwoodSee all my reviews

I will not go into the film as many already have said how it is a great work of art despite its "troubled" filming history.

This film is now advertised and available as a "restored" dvd of a "lost" Welles film. But DO NOT be deceived. Whereas the 1998 cut of Touch of Evil was "restored" using a Welles memo as guidelines, Othello was restored by presuming many things. First, dialogue was put in sync and unintelligible diaglogue was "voiced over." And second, the original score was redone, but not exactly as the original. You could almost say a new score was used in the "restored" film. The original cut was Welles' 1952 European version which has only ever been availible as a (OOP) 1995 Criterion LaserDisc. As Welles' daughter owns the rights to Othello, that's the 1992 "restored" version which she also helped on, it is the only one currently availible for purchase in the US (as she receives no money for the 1995 CR laserdisc, she forced Criterion to stop making it.)

While many casual fans will not notice or care about the little changes, don't be deceived into thinking this is "Orson's intended version." Also DO NOT be deceived into thinking this is a lost film. It was only lost in the sense that it had no distribution until the early 90's.


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