Julius Caesar

( 2 )

Overview

Except for the omission of several passages in the original play, this 1970 adaptation of Julius Caesar faithfully retells Shakespeare's account of events surrounding the assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C. The film begins when Caesar John Gielgud is at the height of his power after conquering Pompey "the Great" in a civil war. Important senators worry that Caesar means to become king, diminish their power, and abolish their beloved Roman republic. Two senators, Cassius Richard Johnson and Brutus Jason Robards, ...
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DVD (Remastered / Wide Screen)
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Overview

Except for the omission of several passages in the original play, this 1970 adaptation of Julius Caesar faithfully retells Shakespeare's account of events surrounding the assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C. The film begins when Caesar John Gielgud is at the height of his power after conquering Pompey "the Great" in a civil war. Important senators worry that Caesar means to become king, diminish their power, and abolish their beloved Roman republic. Two senators, Cassius Richard Johnson and Brutus Jason Robards, hatch an assassination plot involving other disenchanted Roman citizens. Although a soothsayer warns Caesar of trouble "Beware the ides of March" and his own wife reports ominous signs "A lioness hath whelped in the streets; and graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead", Caesar decides to go to the senate on the ides March 15. Upon arrival, the conspirators greet him with daggers. In his funeral oration, Mark Antony Charlton Heston extols Caesar and incites the citizens against Brutus and the other conspirators. Brutus and Cassius flee Rome with their armies, but Antony and two other sympathizers track them down with their armies. When the tide turns against the conspirators, Brutus and Cassius commit suicide. As does Shakespeare's play, the film leaves the discerning viewer wondering who was the real villain -- Caesar, because of his ambition for power, or Brutus, because of his underhanded plot to maintain the status quo.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1970 Stuart Burge adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar merits the attention of moviegoers in spite of the weak performance by Jason Robards in the role of Brutus. Except for Robards, the cast performs admirably -- notably Charlton Heston as Antony, John Gielgud as Caesar, Richard Johnson as Cassius, Robert Vaughn as Casca, and Diana Rigg as Portia. Moreover, unlike the heralded 1953 version starring Marlon Brando, this rendering is in color -- a definite plus for young adults weaned on technical realism (though the earlier version has superior sets and art direction). The mixture of accents in the Burge production -- some British, some American -- does not mar the film. After all, there were regional Latin accents in the time of Caesar and regional English accents in the time of Shakespeare. Heston brings power and magnetism to his Antony performance, and his interpretation of the famous funeral oration ("Friends, Romans, countrymen . . . ") is particularly good. On the other hand, Robards' portrayal of Brutus lacks vigor and depth. That he got the role over others -- reportedly, both Orson Welles and Vaughn wanted it -- is a shame, since Brutus is one of the most important characters in the play, if not the most important. Nevertheless, Burge's overall production is a good one, capable of satisfying Shakespeare aficionados, students, and the general public.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/19/2013
  • UPC: 887090054102
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Remastered / Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:57:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,226

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlton Heston Marc Antony
Jason Robards Jr. Brutus
John Gielgud Julius Caesar
Richard Johnson Cassius
Robert Vaughn Casca
Richard Chamberlain Octavius Caesar
Diana Rigg Portia
Jill Bennett Calpurnia
Christopher Lee Artemidorus
Alan Browning Marullus
Norman Bowler Titinius
Andrew Crawford Volumnius
David Dodimead Lepidus
Peter Eyre Cinna The Post
Derek Godfrey Decius Brutus
Michael Gough Metellus Cimber
Paul Hardwick Messala
Laurence Harrington Carpenter
Thomas Heathcote Flavius
Robert Keegan Lucilius
Preston Lockwood Trebonius
John Moffatt Popilius Lena
Andre Morell Cicero
David Neal Cinna The Conspirator
Steven Pacey Lucius
John Tate Clitus
Alba The Soothsayer
Christopher Cazenove Servant to Antony
Robin Chadwick Servant to Octavius
Edwin Finn Publius
Derek Hardwick 3rd Plebian
Ewan Hooper Strato
Ken Hutchison
Michael Keating
David Leland Plebians
Ronald Magill Servant to Caesar
Ron Pember Cobbler
Linbert Spencer
Roy Stewart Lepidus's Slave
Damien Thomas Pindarus
Michael Wynne 4th Plebian
Technical Credits
Stuart Burge Director
Robin Archer Costumes/Costume Designer
Eric Boyd-Perkins Editor
Robert Furnival Screenwriter
Ken Higgins Cinematographer
Michael J. Lewis Score Composer
Michael Lewis Score Composer
Cedric Messina Producer
Julia Trevelyan Oman Production Designer
Maurice Pelling Art Director
Eric Boyd Perkins Editor
Cliff Sharpe Makeup
Peter Snell Producer
Anthony B. Unger Executive Producer, Producer
Henry T. Weinstein Executive Producer, Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Julius Caesar
1. Chapter 1 [:12]
2. Chapter 2 [14:58]
3. Chapter 3 [16:02]
4. Chapter 4 [12:17]
5. Chapter 5 [16:35]
6. Chapter 6 [17:00]
7. Chapter 7 [15:12]
8. Chapter 8 [9:26]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Julius Caesar
   Play
   Chapters
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the Hunter/Heston version, not the Brando one

    Don't confuse this version directed by David Bradley with the one directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz with Marlon Brando and Jason Mason. Still, this version is noteworthy of sorts as its the film debuts of Jeffery Hunter and Charleton Heston. This version is OK, but I never thought this was one of old Will Shakespeare's best work ... and even the Mankiewicz (considered the best) was a bit talky

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Classic Heston

    Heston curls toes with his version of the honorable men speech and makes the entire film a triumph, despite a rather card board performance by Robards as Brutus.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews