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Otello (1986)

Based on Shakespeare's play, Verdi's opera depicts the devastating effects of jealousy, "...the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon". Believing Otello has promoted the... See full summary »

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

Arrigo Boito (libretto), Franco Zeffirelli (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Plácido Domingo ... Otello
Katia Ricciarelli Katia Ricciarelli ... Desdemona
Justino Díaz ... Iago
Petra Malakova Petra Malakova ... Emilia
Urbano Barberini ... Cassio
Massimo Foschi ... Lodovico
Edwin Francis Edwin Francis ... Montano
Sergio Nicolai Sergio Nicolai ... Roderigo
Remo Remotti Remo Remotti ... Brabantio
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Doge
Ezio Di Cesare Ezio Di Cesare ... Cassio (voice)
John Macurdy John Macurdy ... Lodovico (voice)
Constantin Zaharia Constantin Zaharia ... Roderigo (voice)
Edward Toumajian Edward Toumajian ... Montano (voice)
Giannicola Pigliucci Giannicola Pigliucci ... Brabantio (voice)
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Storyline

Based on Shakespeare's play, Verdi's opera depicts the devastating effects of jealousy, "...the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon". Believing Otello has promoted the fast-rising Cassio over himself, Iago plots to destroy both Cassio and Otello. Iago convinces the jealous Otello that his beautiful wife Desdemona is unfaithful, and that Cassio is her lover. Jealousy is followed by tragedy, then retribution, "Has Heaven no more thunderbolts?" Written by Mike Smith <mismith@brody.med.ecu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | Italy | USA

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

12 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Otelo See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,076, 14 September 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$189,042
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Franco Zeffirelli later said that out of all the films he ever made, "Otello" is his favorite, and admitted that after he made the picture, he had "a bit of a crisis" because he felt that he could never be able to duplicate that achievement. See more »

Connections

Version of The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Otello (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bravo Zeffirelli!
10 September 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

This is easily one of Franco Zeffirelli's better opera films. The cinematography is excellent, perfectly capturing the beautiful costumes and locations used here. A chief example of beauty was Desdemona lying on the bed all pure, as white as snow, as is said in the Shakespeare play. The subtitles are also very easy to read, and the plot while shortened is faithful to the play and to the opera's libretto. The music is just superlative. Verdi is without doubt up there with Puccini as the finest Italian opera composer, composing masterpieces such as La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Aida, and Otello based on Shakespeare's play deserves to be up there with them. So many highlights to choose from, there is Exultate, there are a couple of beautiful choruses and the riveting revenge duet between Otello and Iago, but my favourite has to be Desdemona's beautiful but haunting Willow Song(only in excerpt form here), that can give you goosebumps, because the repeated word Salce is quite hypnotic and foreboding. As for the singing, what can I say, fantastic. Placido Domingo was just brilliant, yes in the play, Othello is supposed to be black, I am trying to avoid being racist here, but Domingo is such a versatile talented singer, with a phenomenal voice, and a stage presence that does make Pavarotti inferior in comparison, it is forgiven. Katia Ricciarelli looked beautiful as the tragic Desdemona, and her voice was like an angel, in one word stunning. And Justino Diaz is very convincing as the hissable villain Iago, especially in the blasphemous but chilling Credo, who manipulates Otello into believing that Desdemona is unfaithful in quite an entertaining way. Overall, a very well done film adaptation of Verdi's opera. Bravo Zeffirelli! 10/10 Bethany Cox


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