Othello

( 1 )

Overview

The 1965 Othello is literally a photographed stage play: a filmed record of the National Theatre Production of 1964, as staged by John Dexter and starring Laurence Olivier. As the easily led, fatally jealous Moor of Venice, Olivier wears thick black-faced makeup and speaks in an uncharacteristically deep, bellow-like voice. Some considered his portrayal of Othello to be an unflattering stereotype; others regard Olivier's interpretation as one of the finest Shakespearean performances ever captured on film. Less ...
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Overview

The 1965 Othello is literally a photographed stage play: a filmed record of the National Theatre Production of 1964, as staged by John Dexter and starring Laurence Olivier. As the easily led, fatally jealous Moor of Venice, Olivier wears thick black-faced makeup and speaks in an uncharacteristically deep, bellow-like voice. Some considered his portrayal of Othello to be an unflattering stereotype; others regard Olivier's interpretation as one of the finest Shakespearean performances ever captured on film. Less flamboyant, but no less effective, are Frank Finlay as Iago, Maggie Smith as Desdemona, Derek Jacobi as Cassio, and Joyce Redman as Emilia. Oscar nominations went to Olivier, Finlay, Smith, and Redman.
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Special Features

Includes bonus Anthony Hopkins interview
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
This thrilling version of Othello really shouldn't work as a movie, because, in one sense, it isn't even a movie at all. Motion picture purists rail against the kind of adaptation in which one essentially takes a stage play and transfers it to film without rethinking it in cinematic terms, and usually with good reason. This transfer goes even further, not even bothering to change from stage settings to more realistic camera-friendly ones. This is usually a recipe for disaster, but this Othello triumphs because the material is so good (which goes without saying) and, more importantly, because the cast is so perfect that all thoughts of rethinking the production for the camera go out the window. Laurence Olivier's work is towering, magisterial, the kind of performance that leaves the viewer stunned and drained. Yes, it takes a while to get used to Olivier in black makeup, and many may argue that it's inappropriate for a white man to be taking on this role -- but it's hard to keep up that argument when one actually views Olivier working his incredible magic. Fortunately, Frank Finlay as Iago is very nearly his equal, a figure of poisonous menace who knows how to cloak his true nature beneath a believable veneer of concern; without Finlay in the role, this Othello would feel lopsided and off-balance. There's also sterling work from a young and lovely Maggie Smith, a devoted Joyce Redman, and a naïve Derek Jacobi. The performances, so finely attuned to this marvelous text, make this an Othello to treasure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/19/2013
  • UPC: 032031490697
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Source: Kultur Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Color / Wide Screen / Stereo
  • Sound: stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:39:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 51

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Olivier Othello
Frank Finlay Iago
Maggie Smith Desdemona
Joyce Redman Emilia
Derek Jacobi Cassio
Robert Lang Roderigo
Anthony Nicholls Brabantio
Harry Lomax Duke of Venice
Sheila Reid Bianca
Michael Turner Gratiano
Kenneth Mackintosh Lodovico
Edward Hardwicke Montano
Roy Holder Clown
David Hargreaves Senate Officer
Malcolm Terris Senate Officer
Terence Knapp Company
Keith Marsh Senator
Tom Kempinski Sailor
William Hobbs Cypriot Officer
Trevor Martin Cypriot Officer
Petronella Barker
Janie Booth Company
Andrew Bradford Company
Peter Cellier
Michael Gambon Company
Reginald Green Company
John McEnery Company
Dan Meaden Company
Bruce Purchase Company
Malcolm Reynolds
Robert Russell Company
Christopher Timothy Cypriot Officer
Technical Credits
Stuart Burge Director
Lord John Brabourne Producer
Richard Hampton Score Composer
Anthony Havelock-Allan Producer
Jocelyn Herbert Costumes/Costume Designer
William Kellner Art Director
Richard Marden Editor
George Partleton Makeup
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
Margaret Unsworth Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Othello
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Othello
   Othello: Chapters
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good for classroom use

    This movie version is quite faithful to the play. In fact, you could read along with Shakespeare's original. The main problem I had was the obvious: Olivier, as Othello, performs in blackface.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews