A visionary adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, one of Orson Welles’s greatest films, presented in two versions. Gloriously cinematic despite its tiny budget, Othello, directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), 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 (Juliette, or Key of Dreams) as the innocent Desdemona, and Micháel Macliammóir (Tom Jones) as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Italy and Morocco 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.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European one and the 1955 U.S. and UK one, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • Audio commentary from 1995 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel
  • Filming "Othello," Welles's last completed film, a 1979 essay-documentary
  • Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by actors Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
  • New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
  • Souvenirs d'"Othello," a 1995 documentary about actor Suzanne Cloutier by François Girard
  • New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the two versions
  • New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race and Contemporary America
  • Interview from 2014 with scholar Joseph McBride
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien
Actor:
Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote
Director:
Orson Welles
Number of Discs:
2
Main Language:
English
Run Time:
93 mins approx.
studio:
CRITERION COLLECTION
Theatrical Release Year:
1951

Othello (1952) - The Criterion Collection

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A visionary adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, one of Orson Welles’s greatest films, presented in two versions. Gloriously cinematic despite its tiny budget, Othello, directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), 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 (Juliette, or Key of Dreams) as the innocent Desdemona, and Micháel Macliammóir (Tom Jones) as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Italy and Morocco 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.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European one and the 1955 U.S. and UK one, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • Audio commentary from 1995 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel
  • Filming "Othello," Welles's last completed film, a 1979 essay-documentary
  • Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by actors Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
  • New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
  • Souvenirs d'"Othello," a 1995 documentary about actor Suzanne Cloutier by François Girard
  • New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the two versions
  • New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race and Contemporary America
  • Interview from 2014 with scholar Joseph McBride
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien
Actor:
Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote
Director:
Orson Welles
Number of Discs:
2
Main Language:
English
Run Time:
93 mins approx.
studio:
CRITERION COLLECTION
Theatrical Release Year:
1951
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