The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice
Criterion | 1951 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 90 min | Not rated | Oct 10, 2017
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
English: LPCM Mono
Two-disc set (2 BD)
Othello (The Criterion Collection)(1951) Blu-ray
The hot-tempered Moor Othello, who is led to believe by his devious underling, Iago, that his wife, Desdemona, is unfaithful.
Director: Orson Welles
Writers: Orson Welles, William Shakespeare
Starring: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote, Suzanne Cloutier, Hilton Edwards, Nicholas Bruce
Synopsis: Gloriously cinematic despite being made on a tiny budget, Orson Welles's Othello is a testament to the filmmaker's stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth. Unmatched in his passionate identification with Shakespeare's imagination, Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and also gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice, alongside Suzanne Cloutier as his innocent wife, Desdemona, and Micheál MacLiammóir as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome and plagued by many logistical problems, this fiercely independent film joins Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight in making the case for Welles as the cinema's most audacious interpreter of the Bard.
- New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European version and the 1955 U.S. version, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel
- Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by MacLiammóir and actor Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
- New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
- New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the differences between the two versions
- New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America
- Interview from 2014 with Welles scholar Joseph McBride
- And MORE...
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien