7.2/10
355
17 user

Othello (1981)

TV-14 | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 12 October 1981
General Othello (Sir Anthony Hopkins) becomes convinced that his wife is having an affair, even though there is no evidence.

Director:

Jonathan Miller

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

King Lear (TV Movie 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: John Shrapnel, Norman Rodway, Michael Kitchen
Pericles, Prince of Tyre (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Pericles discovers the dread answer to Antioch's riddle, he flees for his life straight into famine, shipwreck, love, fatherhood, and another shipwreck; he loses his wife and daughter,... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Edward Petherbridge, John Woodvine, Edita Brychta
The Winter's Tale (TV Movie 1981)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Howell
Stars: John Welsh, David Burke, Robert Stephens
Black Butler (2014)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After her supposed death, a young woman returns as the son of her noble family to precede the family's prestigious company, with a demon at her side to avenge her parent's murder.

Directors: Kentarô Ohtani, Kei'ichi Sato
Stars: Hiro Mizushima, Ayame Gôriki, Yûka
Cymbeline (TV Movie 1982)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed ... See full summary »

Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Stars: Richard Johnson, Michael Pennington, Claire Bloom
Turandot (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Rodney Greenberg
Stars: Éva Marton, Waldemar Kmentt, John-Paul Bogart
Mansfield Park (TV Mini-Series 1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Impoverished Fanny Price is sent to live with her more affluent uncle and aunt. The arrival of new neighbors brings a chance for romance to Fanny and her cousins.

Stars: Anna Massey, Angela Pleasence, Sylvestra Le Touzel
Sense and Sensibility (TV Series 1971)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mrs. Dashwood and her two daughters, Elinor and Marianne, are faced with the prospect of Mrs. Dashwood's stepson and his wife moving into their home at Norland.

Stars: Michael Aldridge, Sheila Ballantine, Esme Church
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Fifteen years after his death, a carousel barker is granted permission to return to Earth for one day to make amends to his widow and their daughter.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
The Merchant of Venice (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Franklyn-Robbins, John Rhys-Davies, Alan David
Persuasion (TV Mini-Series 1971)
History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young seaman, who, though ... See full summary »

Stars: Ann Firbank, Bryan Marshall, Marian Spencer
Troilus & Cressida (TV Movie 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Trojan War, a Trojan warrior is distraught when his lover takes up with a Greek.

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Charles Gray, Anton Lesser, Tony Steedman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Pedley Anthony Pedley ... Roderigo
Bob Hoskins ... Iago
Geoffrey Chater ... Brabantio
Alexander Davion ... Gratiano
Anthony Hopkins ... Othello
David Yelland ... Cassio
Joseph O'Conor ... Lodovico
Peter Walmsley Peter Walmsley ... Officer
John Barron ... Duke of Venice
Seymour Green Seymour Green ... First Senator
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... Second Senator
Penelope Wilton ... Desdemona
Rosemary Leach ... Emilia
Tony Steedman ... Montano
Max Harvey Max Harvey ... First Gentleman
Edit

Storyline

Iago (Bob Hoskins) and a comrade-in-arms are outside the Venice home of Desdemona's father, Brabantio (Geoffrey Chater), who does not yet know that she has eloped with Othello (Sir Anthony Hopkins). Iago confides to his friend, who had hoped to marry Desdemona (Penelope Wilton), that he serves Othello to further his own ends. Venice needs Othello to protect its commercial interests in Cyprus where the Turkish fleet is headed. Desdemona insists on going to Cyprus, too. In Cyprus, Iago plots to convince Othello that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio (David Yelland). A lot more than political ambition seems to be motivating Iago. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene where Iago (Bob Hoskins) asks Cassio (David Yelland) about Bianca (Wendy Morgan), Othello (Sir Anthony Hopkins) stands behind the open door. Most of the scene was shot from behind him, so the audience sees what he sees. However, not all of the dialogue between Iago and Cassio is audible. Although this led to criticism when the episode was screened in the U.S., where it was assumed that the sound people simply had not done their job very well, it was actually done so as to increase subjectivity. If Othello is having difficulty hearing what they are saying, so too is the audience. See more »

Goofs

Shortly before stabbing himself Othello bounces the blade of the dagger on the bed and we both hear and see the blade retract. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Uh oh, Chongo!
9 August 2016 | by kmoh-1See all my reviews

There is controversy here about the performances of Hopkins and Hoskins as the two major protagonists, and controversy about the nature of the production.

That there is controversy is understandable - it's a very schizophrenic production, careful and understated and clipped and British for the most part, excellently acted by a tasteful cast, Penelope Wilton and Rosemary Leach outstanding. Yet the two principals are given free rein.

Hoskins' Iago is the more successful of the two, scintillating in monologue, focusing on the evil of the character, trying to convey his plausibility via his rough charm. Hard to imagine the stiff-upper- lip types of Jonathan Miller's Venice being taken in by such a fellow, entertain them though he might.

But there is more than one letter's difference between Hoskins and Hopkins. Hopkins' performance is, as some of the reviewers have pointed out, as ripe a piece of eye-rolling ham as one is likely to see. Despite other reviewers' valiant attempts, it is really not a defensible performance, rising so rapidly from suave control to chewing the scenery, persuaded far too easily by an Iago who is obviously on the make.

The exaggerations help provide a context for his tense scenes with Desdemona - we certainly know how much he is holding back. The power of the moment when he slaps her is impressive. But when he lets rip, the acting style gets closer to Chongo out of the Banana Splits than any more accomplished thespian.

The effect is not at all helped by Hopkins sporting the most extraordinary pair of trousers I have ever seen, designed by Richard Hughes. The bizarre codpiece looks like Hopkins has had a painful accident with a stapler, and his stature is seriously compromised by odd curving stripes down the legs. This produces a number of odd and unintentionally humorous effects, most awfully during Emilia's affecting death scene, where Hopkins, standing behind the bed as a witness, appears to have little tiny legs, like Toulouse-Lautrec.

Either Miller could not control Hopkins, or gave him his head. It doesn't matter which - the result is an unsatisfactory mishmash, neither one thing nor the other.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

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

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed