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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

Roderigo's murder in a Turkish bath was devised in that manner because the costumes had been impounded due to non-payment. 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 »

Alternate Versions

This film by Orson Welles, was 'restored' by a group in Chicago in 1991/2. The film was transferred to, and enhanced in video, (D1 format) retaining it as black and white. The audio was completely rebuilt, including the score, in Stereo Surround. All dialogue, however was original. This was a problem as some of the dialogue was distorted and unintelligible. John Fogelson, editor, was a major supervisor of the project. Ed Golya, Lorita DeLacerna, and Steve Wilke, were digital editors. And Ed Golya remixed the soundtrack. The process took 9 months. It was purchased for distribution by Castle Hill, and taken to New York where it went through another transformation before release. Unintelligible dialogue was replaced with 'sound-alikes'. This decision was made for the entertainment value of the film. The original mono music was then reintroduced into the final product. Basically, the film was retransferred, and the rebuilt sound effects tracks were added. This was done at Sound One, in NYC.. The credits were adjusted to place Lee Dickter (sp?) as Re-recording Mixer, and Ed Golya as Sound Effects Editor. See more »

Connections

Version of Othello (1908) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the great Shakespeare films.
12 September 1999 | by lime-3See all my reviews

I must be one of the few who saw this film (more than once!) before it vanished in the 60's. I saw it on TV in the last 50's, and later brought it to the small college where I was teaching 63-65. Though heavily cut and more than a little rearranged, it is one of the very finest of Shakespeare films. Performances are generally excellent and unified in style and diction. Welles, or course, is magnificent. Anyone who thinks he was never anything but a self-parodying ham has not seen this film. One could wish than MacLiammoir had had more overt FUN as Iago, who does what he does, in part at least, in an attempt to stimulate himself out of his blunted affect. The film also has some of the finest black-and-white cinematography of all time, and uses architecture in a unique and effective way.


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