After three years in the making, Orson Welles unveiled his Othello at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1952 to win the top award. Film is an impressive rendering of the Shakespearean tragedy.

After three years in the making, Orson Welles unveiled his Othello at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1952 to win the top award. Film is an impressive rendering of the Shakespearean tragedy.

Beginning is catchy in lensing, plasticity and eye appeal, but a bit murky in development. After the marriage of Othello and Desdemona over the protests of her father, the film takes a firm dramatic line and crescendos as the warped Iago brings on the ensuing tragic results. The planting of the jealousy seed in Othello is a bit sudden, but once it takes hold, the pic builds in power until the final death scene.

Micheal MacLiammoir is good as Iago, the jealous, twisted friend whose envy turns to hate and murder. Orson Welles gives the tortured Moor depth and stature.

Footage shot in Italy and Morocco is well matched photographically. Standout scenes are the murder of Roderigo in a Moroccan bath as the chase weaves through the steamy air and ends in general skewering and mayhem.

Othello

Morocco

Production

Mercury. Director Orson Welles; Producer Orson Welles; Screenplay Orson Welles; Camera Anchise Brizzi, G.R. Aldo, Georgo Fanto, Obadan Troiani, Roberto Fusi; Editor Jean Sacha, Renzo Lucidi, John Shepridge; Music Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Alberto Barberis; Art Director Alexandre Trauner

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Orson Welles
Micheal MacLiammoir
Suzanne Cloutier
Robert Coote
Hilton Edwards
Fay Compton
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