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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:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,868, 2 January 2005

Gross USA:

$3,765,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,560,182
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

Director Michael Radford was required to cut the kiss between Antonio and Bassanio for the 'Edited for Television' version of this film. The ambiguous relationship between the two men is sexually innocent in Shakespeare's original play, but clearly homosexual in Radford's adaptation. See more »

Goofs

In a couple of occasions the name "Mexico" comes up. While Mexico was officially called "New Spain" while it was under Spanish rule (such as the time the movie is set in) in practice "New Spain" and "Mexico" were used interchangeably (hence why the colony directly north of New Spain was called New Mexico, for example). 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

Referenced in Leaves of Grass (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Jessica Escapes
Kanun [Qanun]: Jon Banks
Violin(s): David Juritz, Gabrielle Lester, Ian Humphries, Jonathan Evans-Jones, Julian Leaper, Karin Leishman, Maya Magub (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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant film, if ever so slightly too long (Pacino is magnificent)
30 November 2004 | by residentunknownSee all my reviews

this film was truly amazing to watch, the costumes and scenery were first-class. Michael Radford has done a tremendous job, on a fairly constrained budget (as he said at the London Premiere). Costumes and general time period pieces were exquisite and Oscar nominations for these would seem in the running.

The acting was simply superb. Al Pacino was (as ALWAYS) perfect. He captured the torture of emotions that run through Shylock impeccably and easily stole the spotlight whenever he was on screen. Jeremy Irons paved the way for great British acting in his earlier times, and now has done the same. Also Lynn Collins, a fairly recent newcomer was perfect as Portia. She was stunning to look at and managed to pull of the speeches with grace.

Although i have all this praise, the film was definitely over-long and many scenes seemed to me like they could have done with a few edits or too. However, the atmosphere of Venice was amazing and it truly felt real in all the mannerisms of the actors.

Ultimately a very successful and ambitious film, that leaves nothing to the imagination, as it is a very realistic approach to Shakespeare. Beautiful to look at and incredible actors too (especially for Pacino) make this a great film that i would watch again an recommend at the drop of a Venetian hat.


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