7.2/10
18,781
293 user 93 critic

Titus (1999)

Trailer
0:40 | Trailer

On Disc

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Titus returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family.

Director:

Julie Taymor

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Julie Taymor (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Osheen Jones Osheen Jones ... Young Lucius
Dario D'Ambrosi ... Clown
Anthony Hopkins ... Titus Andronicus
Jessica Lange ... Tamora
Raz Degan ... Alarbus
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Chiron
Matthew Rhys ... Demetrius
Harry Lennix ... Aaron
Angus Macfadyen ... Lucius
Kenny Doughty ... Quintus
Blake Ritson ... Mutius
Colin Wells Colin Wells ... Martius
Ettore Geri Ettore Geri ... Priest
Alan Cumming ... Saturninus
Constantine Gregory ... Aemelius
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Storyline

War begets revenge. Victorious general, Titus Andronicus, returns to Rome with hostages: Tamora queen of the Goths and her sons. He orders the eldest hewn to appease the Roman dead. He declines the proffered emperor's crown, nominating Saturninus, the last ruler's venal elder son. Saturninus, to spite his brother Bassianus, demands the hand of Lavinia, Titus's daughter. When Bassianus, Lavinia, and Titus's sons flee in protest, Titus stands against them and slays one of his own. Saturninus marries the honey-tongued Tamora, who vows vengeance against Titus. The ensuing maelstrom serves up tongues, hands, rape, adultery, racism, and Goth-meat pie. There's irony in which two sons survive. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you think you know Shakespeare....Think again. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violent and sexual images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

11 February 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tit Andronik See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,313, 26 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,921,350, 21 May 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,007,290, 19 May 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The large white building seen several times throughout the movie is the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, built by Mussolini as his governmental headquarters, and known disparagingly in Rome as the Square Coliseum. See more »

Goofs

When Aaron speaks saying: "Come on, my lords, the better foot before: Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit Where I espied the tiger fast asleep." His actually says "panther" as opposed to "tiger" (as is written in the original play). See more »

Quotes

Tamora: Away with her.
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Connections

References The Seven Year Itch (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A "timeless" retelling
14 January 2004 | by shaquanda36See all my reviews

Titus. Where to begin? Oh yes, at the beginning. William Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus early in his career. VERY early in his career, and such is apparent. On stage, this script as a play must be awful. Character motivations are not explained, there are holes in the action, a character leaves the country and then comes back, seemingly only to set up the climax. There is little explanation of action, and it is less poetic than some of his masterworks (Midsummer, Hamlet, Lear). And yet, Julie Taymor, renowned for her fantastical vision of The Lion King on Broadway, chose this, possibly Shakespeare's most problematic play, to be her introduction to film.

This adaptation is wonderful. Why? Because it fills all the holes of the initial play. She adds scenes without dialogue, she makes the setting timeless and symbolic, and removes it from the realm of reality, wherein the play never worked to begin with. She tranforms a difficult play about revenge into much, much more. It is now a feast for the eyes, a commentary on revenge, power, theatre, film, and villiany.

To be fair, I am not giving Shakespeare enough credit. The play he wrote has many marvelous aspects, mainly the Aaron - possibly Shakespeare's greatest villian. He is unrelenting. And in the film, he is wonderfully acted. Titus is a good character too, and Anthony Hopkins acts him well enough.

It would be easy for a Shakespeare purist to say "eww, what was that," but I would call this retelling a gem. It is moody, gritty, passionate, clever, awe-inspiring, and true to the theme of the original script. It has only added to Shakespeare's words. Is it perfect? No. It does make you stretch yourself, the ending is a head-scratcher, but this will be my favorite Shakespeare adaptation for a long time to come. 9/10


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