- 1952, Orson Welles, Morocco, 93 min.
- With Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir
“This may well be the greatest Shakespeare film...
arguably an even more important film in
Welles’s career than CITIZEN KANE.”
–Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“Welles's OTHELLO is one of the few Shakespeare
films in which the images on the screen generate
enough beauty, variety, and graphic power to stand
comparison with Shakespeare's poetic images.”
-Jack J. Jorgens, Shakespeare on Film
Filmed piecemeal over a period of four years and financed mainly out of the director’s own pocket, OTHELLO marked the beginning of Welles’s career as an independent filmmaker. A model of ingenious low-budget filmmaking, it replaces sets with architecture, making use of stunning locations in Italy and Morocco to provide the frame for some of Welles’s greatest set pieces: the stark, eerie opening funeral; the stormy arrival at Cyprus; the vertiginous murder of Roderigo in a Turkish bath. The cast is dominated by MacLiammóir’s wily, bitter Iago, and the film’s relentless pace matches the momentum of the villain’s opportunistic machinations. This new 2K DCP digital edition is based on the 1992 restoration (supervised by Welles’s daughter Beatrice Welles-Smith) that greatly improved existing versions’ visual quality and audio clarity (the latter with alterations that drew divided responses from film critics and scholars). (MR)