Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian aristocrat, elopes with Moorish military hero Othello, to the great envy of Iago. Alas, Iago knows Othello’s weakness, and with chilling malice works on him. Welles shot the film over 3 years in Venice, Morocco, and Rome.
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Only Orson Welles could pull of playing Othello in black face but he pulls it off in a way that is graceful and not offensive. Welles also continues to push the boundaries of cinema and how the Bard's words should be translated and proves yet again that Welles was far superior to Olivier when it came to adapting Shakespeare.
The resplendent 2013 National Theatre version of 'Othello' Rory Kinnear as the Machiavellian Iago, and Adrian Lester as the tragic Othello, have spoiled all other versions of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. This being said, Orson just about surpasses Branagh and Olivier as a Shakespearean auteur with this one - 3.5
I can't stand the story of Othello. Doesn't have a lot of subtlety. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. I give it 2 stars for a very imaginative production. Also, the blackface is a little offensive.
Oddly, Welles' Othello reminds me of a Black and White graphic novel (a delightful one), with lots of terrific POV angles using bold pen and ink illustrations of dark cavernous castle passages and noirish keylights with blue-black shadows, all the while incorporating a toned-down Elizabethan language in bite-size cartouches over the
I watched the 1992 restored version released by Welles daughter. I loved it. But I hope to see the original version one day and compare the two, Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote about how the new version is inferior to the original in so many ways. Still, highly recommended masterpiece that shows Welles talent for adapting Shakespeare's plays to the big screen.
This isn't exactly Shakespeare, but it may be the best film ever derived from his work: a disorienting, phantasmagoric staging of Othello sped up to such a pace (and done with such a grim, beautiful eye for chaos) that nearly every shot can send your mind reeling. The result is the only Shakespeare adaptation that runs the risk of giving you a panic attack.
'92 restoration Beautiful succinct rendering of the classic Shakespeare play that may well be the ultimate tale of jealousy and supposed cuckoldry. Shot over a three year period as funds became available as to the multiple credits for certain tasks on the picture. Performances vary but Welles take on the brooding violent Moor is masterful. Another compromised entry in his filmography.