Otello

Otello

Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Cast: Franco Zeffirelli, Plácido Domingo, Katia Ricciarelli, Justino Diaz

     
 

Starring great Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo, Franco Zeffirelli's 1986 film production of Otello comes to DVD from MGM with a widescreen transfer. The Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack is rendered in the original Italian language. Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish. Closed captions are accessible. Special features are limited to the originalSee more details below

Overview

Starring great Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo, Franco Zeffirelli's 1986 film production of Otello comes to DVD from MGM with a widescreen transfer. The Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack is rendered in the original Italian language. Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish. Closed captions are accessible. Special features are limited to the original theatrical trailer and trailers for other MGM titles. This disc is highly recommended for those who appreciate classic operas and the music of Giuseppe Verdi.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1986 film brings together tenor Placido Domingo, soprano Katia Ricciarelli, director Franco Zeffirelli, and the La Scala orchestra and chorus under conductor Lorin Maazel in a moving adaptation of Otello, the classic opera by Giuseppe Verdi (music) and Arrigo Boito (libretto). From the rhapsodic opening to the tragic conclusion, Domingo (Otello) and Ricciarelli (Desdemona) perform with power and warmth in a dubbed soundtrack while Zeffirelli's lenses tint the castle setting in chiaroscuro to reflect the shifting moods in the war between good and evil. Domingo, stately and imposing as the black Moor, sings with passion and élan without sacrificing control over his voice. Ricciarelli, elegantly beautiful as Otello's sincere and innocent wife, easily wins audience sympathy with her sweetly sorrowful voice and plaintive arias and duets. The two principals receive strong support from baritone Justino Diaz as Iago and mezzo-soprano Petra Malakova as Emilia. Although nominated for 1987 Golden Globe and Palme d'Or awards as Best Foreign Language Film, the production is not without weaknesses. For example, Zeffirelli amputates popular arias and enlists actors to lip-synch voices of studio artists. When Urbano Barberini (Cassio) opens his mouth, the soaring voice of tenor Ezio di Cesare comes out. And then there is the acting of Domingo. Though unquestionably a great tenor, he is only a passable thespian in spite of his charismatic presence. Too often, he over-smiles, over-frowns, over-gapes. Fortunately, his body language cannot affect his pre-recorded singing. The coup de grace -- for opera purists, at least -- is the altered fate of Iago. In the Boito libretto, he escapes. In the Zeffirelli revisionist libretto, Otello nails him with a spear. The weaknesses notwithstanding, this version of Otello is impressive overall, adeptly developing the themes of the Shakespeare play, based on a story by Italian dramatist Giambattista Giraldi, known as Cinthio.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2003
UPC:
0027616884206
Original Release:
1986
Rating:
PG
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
2:03:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Original theatrical trailer; Original Italian: Stereo Surround; English, French, and Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Plácido Domingo Otello
Katia Ricciarelli Desdemona
Justino Diaz Iago
Petra Malakova Emilia
Urbano Barberini Cassio
Sergio Nicolai Roderigo
Edwin Francis Montano
Massimo Foschi Lodovico
Antonio Pierfederici Doge
Remo Remotti Brabanzio

Technical Credits
Franco Zeffirelli Director,Screenwriter
Anna Anni Costumes/Costume Designer
Yoram Globus Producer
Menahem Golan Producer
Ennio Guarnieri Cinematographer
Fulvio Lucisano Producer
Lorin Maazel Musical Direction/Supervision
Maurizio Millenotti Costumes/Costume Designer
Gianni Quaranta Production Designer
Peter Taylor Editor
John Thompson Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Victorious [:09]
2. Wine, Women and Swords [8:01]
3. Long Journey to Love [12:32]
4. Lago's Friendly Advice [10:18]
5. Born of A Cruel God [2:01]
6. The Seed of Suspicion [5:29]
7. Farewell, Love [4:03]
8. Proof in A Dream [10:30]
9. Courtesan's Handkerchief [9:04]
10. What Cross to Bear [11:24]
11. Cassio's "Confession" [4:44]
12. Desdemona's Humiliation [5:46]
13. In Case of Death [9:43]
14. To Die Innocent [9:06]
15. Revealed/End of the Road [7:16]
16. End Credits [8:37]

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