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The Merchant of Venice (2004)

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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.

Director:

Michael Radford

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Michael Radford (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Shylock
Jeremy Irons ... Antonio
Joseph Fiennes ... Bassanio
Lynn Collins ... Portia
Zuleikha Robinson ... Jessica
Kris Marshall ... Gratiano
Charlie Cox ... Lorenzo
Heather Goldenhersh ... Nerissa
Mackenzie Crook ... Launcelot Gobbo
John Sessions ... Salerio
Gregor Fisher ... Solanio
Ron Cook ... Old Gobbo
Allan Corduner ... Tubal
Anton Rodgers ... The Duke
David Harewood ... Prince of Morocco
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [UK] | Sony Pictures Classics | See more »

Country:

USA | Italy | Luxembourg | UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

18 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice See more »

Filming Locations:

Thiene, Vicenza, Veneto, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£147,709 (United Kingdom), 5 December 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,868, 2 January 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,765,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,000,000, 6 May 2016
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

Cate Blanchett was set to play Portia, but had to drop out at the last minute after discovering she was pregnant. See more »

Goofs

Approximately 0:02:50 into the film, camera equipment and a man with a black baseball cap w/white logo are seen on the left hand side of the frame. It's a very quick cutaway scene after a couple shots of the white balcony. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: Intolerance of the Jews was a fact of 16th Century life even in Venice, the most powerful and liberal city state in Europe.
Title Card: 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
Title Card: In the daytime any man leaving the ghetto had to wear a red hat to mark him as a Jew.
Man in Crowd: Usurer! Usurer!
Title Card: The Jews were forbidden to own property. So they practised usury, the lending of money at interest. This was ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Merchant of Venice (1916) See more »

Soundtracks

You Drop Manna
Violin Leader: David Juritz
Violin(s): Gabrielle Lester, Ian Humphries, Jonathan Evans-Jones, Julian Leaper, Karin Leishman, Maya Megub (Maya Magub), Paul Willey
Published By Shylock Ltd. / EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
© 2004 Decca Music Group Limited
(p) Jocelyn Pook Ltd. /2004 Decca Music Group Limited
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent and well set rendition about Shakespeare ¨pound of flesh¨ story
28 February 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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