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Julius Caesar

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Overview

Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed this exquisite version of William Shakespeare's play. Louis Calhern is Julius Caesar, whose conquests have enabled him to rise to the status of Roman dictator. But his ascent to almost God-like status has given pause to influential members of the Roman Senate. Chief among them is Cassius John Gielgud, who is troubled by Caesar's popularity and dictatorial status. Convinced that Caesar's assassination would be the best thing for Rome, he conspires with Casca Edmond O'Brien and the ...
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Overview

Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed this exquisite version of William Shakespeare's play. Louis Calhern is Julius Caesar, whose conquests have enabled him to rise to the status of Roman dictator. But his ascent to almost God-like status has given pause to influential members of the Roman Senate. Chief among them is Cassius John Gielgud, who is troubled by Caesar's popularity and dictatorial status. Convinced that Caesar's assassination would be the best thing for Rome, he conspires with Casca Edmond O'Brien and the influential Brutus James Mason to plot Caesar's murder. Despite dark omens, Caesar walks confidently into the Roman Senate, where he is stabbed to death by the conspirators. His companion Marc Antony Marlon Brando is shocked and runs to the corpse of his beloved friend. He agrees to support Brutus while an unruly mob gathers in front of the Senate doors, having heard rumors of Caesar's assassination. Brutus convinces the mob that Caesar's death was for the good of Rome, preventing him from forming a monarchy. Then Antony appears, determined to destroy the conspirators; he delivers a speech that subtly damns the assassins. With the mob against them, the conspirators are forced to flee Rome and Antony organizes an army against them.
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Special Features

New introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne; New featurette The Rise of Two Legends; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby digital 5.1; Marlon Brando movie trailer gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The 1953 production of Julius Caesar is a surprisingly successful, star-studded adaptation of the Shakespearean tale of loyalty, betrayal, and political intrigue in ancient Rome. A strong cast distinguishes the film, with James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, and Marlon Brando as Marc Antony offering distinctly different yet entirely satisfying interpretations of their historical figures. The screenplay is a seamless adaptation of the source material, keeping the focus on both the human drama of Brutus' struggle to decide between personal loyalty and public welfare and the political implications of violent rebellion, a topic of particular interest to Elizabethan audiences. The black-and-white cinematography adds an appropriately film noir-ish element to the conspiratorial scenes, even as the vivid and potent imagery of Shakespeare's words is well-preserved. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz manages to showcase the Bard's dialogue in a film that also has the visual appeal of Oscar-winning art direction. Plot was never Shakespeare's greatest talent, and Julius Caesar suffers from a prolonged anti-climax (the final two acts add little to the story), but the film survives this deficiency with some show-stopping speeches. Marc Anthony is blessed with a couple of inspiring and potent orations, and, despite his lack of experience in Elizabethan drama, Brando hits most of the right notes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2006
  • UPC: 012569659186
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Remastered / Full Frame
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,440

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marlon Brando Marc Antony
James Mason Brutus
John Gielgud Cassius
Louis Calhern Julius Caesar
Greer Garson Calpurnia
Edmond O'Brien Casca
Deborah Kerr Portia
George Macready Marulus
Michael Pate Flavius
Richard Hale Soothsayer
Alan Napier Cicero
John Hoyt Decius Brutus
Tom Powers Metellus Cimber
William Cottrell Ginna
Jack Raine Trebonius
Ian Wolfe Caius Ligarius
Morgan Farley Artemidorus
William Phipps Antony's Servant
Douglas Watson Octavius Caesar
Douglas Dumbrille Lepidus
Rhys Williams Lucillus
Dayton Lummis Messala
Edmund Purdom Strato
Paul Guilfoyle Citizens of Rome
John Doucette Carpenter
Lawrence Dobkin Citizen of Rome
Jo Gilbert
Chet Stratton Servant to Caesar
Joseph Waring Clitus
O.Z. Whitehead Cinna the Poet
John Hardy Lucius
Lumsden Hare Publius
Victor Perry Popilius Lena
Michael Tolan Officer to Octavius
Michael Ansara Pindarus
John Lupton Varro
Preston Hanson Claudius
John Parrish Titinius
Tom Browne Henry Volumnius
David Bond Citizen of Rome
Ann Tyrrell Citizen of Rome
John O'Malley Citizen of Rome
Oliver Blake Citizen of Rome
Alvin Hurwitz Citizen of Rome
Donald Elson Citizens of Rome
Ned Glass Cobbler
Stephen Roberts Dardanius
Technical Credits
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Director, Screenwriter
Edward C. Carfagno Art Director
John D. Dunning Editor
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
John Houseman Producer
Hugh Hunt Art Director, Set Decoration/Design
Howard W. Koch Asst. Director
Herschel McCoy Costumes/Costume Designer
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Art Director, Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Julius Caesar
1. Credits and Foreword [2:10]
2. Dissenting Voices [3:08]
3. Beware the Ides of March [2:52]
4. Not in Our Stars [6:20]
5. Casca's Crown Chronicle [6:46]
6. So Vile as Caesar [5:40]
7. Speak, Strike, Redress! [4:47]
8. Kill Him Boldly [4:51]
9. Good Portia [4:38]
10. Calpurnia's Fear [3:12]
11. Emperor's Escort [4:10]
12. Capitol Entrance [3:00]
13. Et Tu, Brute? [3:16]
14. Bathing in Blood [3:19]
15. Bargaining With Antony [5:19]
16. Let Slip the Dogs of War [:52]
17. I Loved Rome More [1:41]
18. Lend Me Your Ears [3:20]
19. Such Honorable Men [5:12]
20. Most Unkindest Cut [2:52]
21. Antony and Octavius [5:37]
22. Ill Temper [3:40]
23. News of the Dead [6:45]
24. Sleepy Tune [4:26]
25. Caesar's Ghost [3:00]
26. Parting Well Made [2:34]
27. Field of Battle [2:23]
28. Cassius Dies [2:49]
29. Brutus Dies [4:18]
30. Noblest Roman [5:16]
31. Cast List [1:47]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Julius Caesar
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Introduction by Robert Osborne
      The Rise of Two Legends
      Theatrical Trailers
         Play All
         Julius Caesar (1953)
         Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
         Refections in a Golden Eye (1967)
         The Formula (1980)
   Languages
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must-See

    A painless and interesting presentation of Shakespeare's play. The performances are so outstanding that one scarcely notices the Old English being spoken. Another example of the virtuosity of Brando in the early days...his "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." speech as Marc Anthony is brilliantly done and the most effective, most memorable part of the film. James Mason is also noteworthy as Brutus. Recommended even for those who are not partial to Shakespearean drama. This will change your perception.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews