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Othello

Promotional film poster
Directed by Oliver Parker
Produced by David Barron
Written by William Shakespeare
Starring Laurence Fishburne
Irène Jacob
Kenneth Branagh
Nathaniel Parker
as 'Cassio'
Michael Maloney
as 'Roderigo'
Anna Patrick
as 'Emilia'
Nicholas Farrell
as 'Montano'
Indra Ové
as 'Bianca'
Michael Sheen
as 'Lodovico'
André Oumansky
as 'Gratiano'
Philip Locke
as '1st Senator'
John Savident
as '2nd Senator'
with Gabriele Ferzetti
as 'The Duke of Venice'
and Pierre Vaneck
as 'Brabantio'
Cinematography David Johnson
Editing by Tony Lawson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) December 15, 1995
Running time 123 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11,000,000
Gross revenue $2,844,379 domestic

Othello is a 1995 film based on William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. It was directed by Oliver Parker and stars Laurence Fishburne as Othello, Irène Jacob as Desdemona, and Kenneth Branagh as Iago. This is the first cinematic reproduction of the play released by a major studio that casts an African-American actor to play the role of Othello, although low-budget independent films of the play starring Ted Lange[1] and Yaphet Kotto[2] predated it.

Contents

Adaptation

The film follows the story of the play closely, but cuts many lines. In addition it adds scenes not in the play, including a sex scene between Othello and Desdemona, dreams in which Othello imagines Desdemona's supposed affair with Cassio, a scene in which Desdemona dances for Othello and a final scene in which the bodies of those killed are buried at sea.

Cast

Characters
Role Actor
Othello Laurence Fishburne
Desdemona Irène Jacob
Iago Kenneth Branagh
Cassio Nathaniel Parker
Roderigo Michael Maloney
Emilia Anna Patrick
Montano Nicholas Farrell
Bianca Indra Ové
Lodovico Michael Sheen

Reception

The film was not a financial success, grossing only $2.1 million in the United States on its $11 million budget[3]. It received largely positive reviews, especially for Branagh's Iago. Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times "Mr. Branagh's superb performance, as the man whose Machiavellian scheming guides the story of Othello's downfall, guarantees this film an immediacy that any audience will understand."[4] Branagh was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance, although in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role category[5] despite the fact that Iago has more lines than any other character in the original play (1047 to Othello's 856).

References

  1. ^ Othello (1989)
  2. ^ Othello (1980)
  3. ^ Othello (1995) - Box office / business
  4. ^ "Fishburne and Branagh Meet Their Fate in Venice", New York Times, Dec. 14, 1995
  5. ^ Othello (1995) - Awards

External links

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