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.
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.
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.
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 <email@example.com>
The movie was shot over three years and production was stopped twice, mainly because Welles ran out of money. He then starred in the films The Third Man (1949) and Prince of Foxes (1949). He took his payment from those films and used them as money for "Othello". See more »
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...
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Orson Welles' short, low-budget, and in places fairly odd look at Shakespeare's play. It suffers from some stage-bound performances which don't quite work (Micheal MacLiammoir as Iago, Robert Coote as Rodrigo) plus an undefined Desdemona from Suzanne Cloutier.
However, this aside, Welles is marvellous as the Moor driven to jealousy and murder, his voice rolling through the meat of Othello's speeches, his bronze make-up creating a skin for the great general. For this performance alone the film is valuable. And it looks absolutely fantastic, springing off from its financial limitations and adding a new dimension to the often-told story.
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