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David Hugh Jones
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Iago and a comrade-in-arms are outside the Venice home of Desdemona's father, who does not yet know that she has eloped with Othello. Iago confides to his friend -- who had hoped to marry Desdemona -- 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. A lot more than political ambition seems to be motivating Iago.Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cedric Messina had initially planned to screen Othello during season two, and had attempted to cast James Earl Jones in the part. However, the British Actors' Equity Association had written into their contract with the BBC that only British actors could appear in the series, and if Messina cast Jones, Equity threatened to strike, thus crippling the show. Messina backed down and Othello was pushed back to a later season. By the time it was produced, Jonathan Miller had taken over as producer, and he decided that the play was not about race at all, casting a white actor in the role. See more »
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 »
I have to say, when my class started studying this film version of 'Othello', I looked forward to seeing Hopkins and Hoskins face off. Instead, I viewed one of the most horrible performances of Shakespeare I have ever seen. It was amazing; Hoskins plays Iago as a giggling, demonaical child with no more motivation than a teen movie prankster--in fact, even less. Desdemona was a pure ice queen; she simply did not seem like the kind of woman that would leave her father and everything she knows for a mysterious foreigner. But the kicker was our Othello. Anthony Hopkins must have been under the guidance of the most inept idiot of a director, because this was the worst performance of his career! I never thought I'd live to see the day when Othello would bark, growl, and shake his tongue like a hideously mad dog--after showing no hint whatsoever of anything like passion or love towards Desdemona, unless passing, pettish attraction is to be called the kind of desire and chemistry that existed between the lovers. I don't think it's Hopkins' fault, though--it must be the director. I have seen a few videos of this BBC series as part of my class, and most are pretty bad, even though they have really excellent actors in them. Even the production values and camera work are horrible. This is certainly not worth watching.
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