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.
On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Venice, 1596. Melancholy Antonio loves the youthful Bassanio, so when Bassanio asks for 3000 ducats, Antonio says yes before knowing it's to sue for the hand of Portia. His capital tied up in merchant ships at sea, Antonio must go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender he reviles. Shylock wraps his grudge in kindness, offering a three-month loan at no interest, but if not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of flesh. The Jew's daughter elopes with a Christian, whetting Shylock's hatred. While Bassanio's away wooing Portia, Antonio's ships founder, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. With court assembled and a judgment due, Portia swings into action to save Bassanio's friend.Written by
Cate Blanchett was set to play Portia, but had to drop out at the last minute after discovering she was pregnant. See more »
When Portia and Nerissa arrive disguised as s judge and a clerk they have a letter with them. When the duke reads this letter out loud it can be clearly seen that there is also text written on the back of the letter. The duke, however, finishes reading the letter without turning the letter around. See more »
Intolerance of the Jews was a fact of 16th Century life even in Venice, the most powerful and liberal city state in Europe.
By law the Jews were forced to live in the old walled foundry or 'Geto' area of the city. After sundown the gate was locked and guarded by Christians
In the daytime any man leaving the ghetto had to wear a red hat to mark him as a Jew.
Man in Crowd:
The Jews were forbidden to own property. So they practised usury, the lending of money at interest. This was ...
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Excellent and well set rendition about Shakespeare ¨pound of flesh¨ story
This British-US-Italian co-production is set in 16th century, Venice. It's a taking on Shakespeare book based on ¨pound of flesh¨ drama, focusing a tale of religious and social prejudice, where the Jew Shylock gets its vengeance in a money loan .(Jeremy Irons) Antonio's friend Bassanio(Joseph Fiennes)is in love and needs money to go courting Portia(Lynn Collins.) Antonio borrows money from ambitious and revenger Shylock. Then, Shylock's daughter named Jessica(Zuleikha Robinson) runaway home with all jewels and money. The Jew Shylock(Al Pacino) has a long memory of oppression but vendetta isn't so sweet and reclaims repayment over Antonio's flesh. Shylock becomes furious and is extremely motived by the injustices of life as Jew. Meanwhile the trial is assembled and Portia goes into action to save Antonio.
This very enjoyable film is a balance of both, tragedy and comedy. As is both delightful, disturbing and dramatically marvellous. Al Pacino delivers a wonderfully complex and dark performance. His portrayal is pretty watchable and absolutely memorable, he's a Shakespeare expert , like he proved in ¨Looking for King Richard III¨ which he starred and and directed. I found particularly nice the way the film handled the court rivalry , the antagonism between them and final result. The movie packs an evocative musical score by Jocelyn Pock(Eye wide shut) and colorful cinematography by Benoit Delhomme, director's usual cameraman. The motion picture is well directed by Michael Radford. Another adaptation about this known book are mostly made for TV, these are the following : 1973 with Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright and Jeremy Brett ; 1980 by Jack Gold with Warren Mitchell and John Rhys Davies ; 2001 by Trevor Nunn with Henry Goodman. And by Orson Welles with Oja Kodar but was scrapped and pretended to release with other of his unfinished movies, though never completed when the negatives were mysteriously lost. I would recommend this picture to anybody interested by Shakespeare.
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