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Titus Andronicus (1985)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | TV Movie 29 June 1985
Roman warrior Titus Andronicus finds himself trapped in a nightmarish cycle of vengeance, misery, and bloodshed.

Director:

Jane Howell

Writer:

William Shakespeare (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Davies Prowles Paul Davies Prowles ... Young Lucius
Edward Hardwicke ... Marcus
Walter Brown Walter Brown ... Aemilius
Brian Protheroe Brian Protheroe ... Saturninus
Nicholas Gecks Nicholas Gecks ... Bassianus
Derek Fuke Derek Fuke ... Captain / 3rd Goth / Sempronius
Eileen Atkins ... Queen Tamora
Peter Searles Peter Searles ... Alarbus / 4th Goth / Valentine
Neil McCaul ... Demetrius
Michael Crompton Michael Crompton ... Chiron
Hugh Quarshie ... Aaron
Gavin Richards Gavin Richards ... Lucius
Crispin Redman Crispin Redman ... Quintus
Tom Hunsinger Tom Hunsinger ... Martius
Michael Packer Michael Packer ... Mutius
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Storyline

Having subdued the Goths, warrior Titus Andronicus returns to Rome to bury his sons, with Gothic Queen Tamora and her retinue as captives. The newly-dead Roman Emperor's two sons, Saturninus and Bassianus, are competing for their father's title. According to Roman custom, Titus sacrifices Tamora's eldest son to the Gods; having the deciding vote, he also chooses Saturninus as Emperor. Both acts have tragic consequences. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene when Chiron and Demetrius are killed, a large carcass is seen hanging nearby; this was a genuine lamb carcass purchased from a kosher butcher and smeared with Vaseline to make it gleam under the studio lighting. See more »

Goofs

Young Lucius wears glasses throughout the film but these were not invented until the Middle Ages. However, the film is not set in any specific time period. There are indications of an ancient Roman setting, but also of an Elizabethan setting. This was purposely done by the filmmakers, so Lucius wearing glasses is not necessarily an anachronism. See more »

Connections

Version of Titus Andronicus (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Blood and revenge are hammering in my head"
18 July 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Titus Andronicus' is not among my favourites of Shakespeare's plays, a playwright of whose lesser plays are still worth the watch and read. Of his tragedies though it is in my opinion one of his most disturbing and moving. It is very powerful when performed well, Shakespeare's dialogue is unmistakable in style and rich in emotion and the characters are typically compelling. If asked as to whether 'Titus Andronicus' is worth the watch or read or both, the answer would be yes.

In 1978 to 1985 the BBC did a series of Shakespeare performances, performing all of his plays, even the lesser known and problematic ones. The quality was uneven, as has been said more than once, but the series overall is just fascinating and most of the productions are well done or more and feature solid and more performances from very talented actors, varying from deservedly lauded to the under-exposed. This 'Titus Andronicus' is the last of the series and to me it's one of the best, doing full justice to the play. Saw the 1999 film version some years ago and loved that version too in its own way.

Did feel that Anna Calder-Marshall and Paul Davies Prowles were slightly bland in their roles, but part of it is down to that neither role is particularly meaty to put it lightly.

All the rest of the characters are never less than excellently performed. Thought the standouts to be Trevor Peacock's noble Titus and Hugh Quarshie's slimy, shrewd and sometimes witty Aaron. Edward Hardwicke is an authoritative Marcus with the right amount of subtlety and forceful, while Brian Protheroe is suitably sinister if not always nuanced. Eileen Atkins is regally poised as Tamora.

While not the most lavish or elaborate in terms of production values, 'Titus Andronicus' is not dreary or cheap either.

Excepting a slightly jarring opening, the staging is compelling. Very poignant and disturbing, it doesn't quite have the pulls-no-punches feel of the film version. It is still uncompromising and doesn't tone down anything.

Overall, really great. 9/10


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