In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
When the king of Denmark dies suddenly, his son, crown prince Hamlet, returns home to find that his uncle Claudius has usurped the throne and married Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Then, one night, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost who commands him to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius.
The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio, when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago.
War begets revenge. Victorious General Titus Andronicus (Sir Anthony Hopkins) returns to Rome with hostages: Tamora (Jessica Lange), 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 (Alan Cumming), the last ruler's venal elder son. Saturninus, to spite his brother Bassianus (James Frain), demands the hand of Lavinia (Laura Fraser), Titus' daughter. When Bassianus, Lavinia, and Titus' 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
This film demonstrates how a stage director can combine the unique atmosphere of theater with the stark realism--and fantastic effects-- of film and make a beautiful, moving masterpiece. The words are Shakespeare, the staging is fabulous, the costumes and sets are remarkable and memorable. Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins and Alan Cummings radiate. Seeing Titus leaves one exhausted and exhilarated, believing one has seen true, gifted, timeless film making.
Titus is one of Shakespeare's little-known, earlier works, and it is a violent, disturbing tragedy. The producer and director took incredible risks to bring this remarkable experience to you. I know you will be moved.
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