- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Othello Becomes The Star
- Don Riley
In this timeless story the brave General and warrior is duped by Shakespeare's grandest villain, Iago. Actually Iago is the main character, in this tale. In Olivier's version Othello actually clearly becomes the main player, because at least one of Iago's major speeches is cut. That being " What's He than that says I Play the villain when this advice is free I give an honest, probable to thinking and indeed the course to win the Moor again..........etc, etc."............chopped in Olivier's version and totally complete in Welles's version. Oliver's movement is wonderful and his is acting is splendid and this film is a must see.........but Oliver absolutely makes his featured part, the main focus.
Only Objection Is Larry's Stereotyping "The Moor"
I have to agree with Shakescrap,it is offensive that Olivier took it upon himself to play Othello in blackface,as my father is Sicilian,conquered people of the Moors,and from growing up listening to "why's your father so dark?" I strongly hate this appearance.The speaking characters all do well,making up for this distracting blackface,if it wasn't for taking offense,it would almost make me laugh.Olivier and Dennis Hopper's offensive rant on Sicilian women and the Moor conquerors in "True Romance" really take the cake.Was Olivier trying to rival Paul Robeson?Derek Jacobi and Maggie Smith were far more to my liking,and kept my attention.
I think the play itself, production and performance should be of primary concern rather than race as race was implied and interpreted differently for many productions. Othello "For I am black" he says. but to the degree differs widely. Olivier's performance was wonderful. His posture and delivery are excellently acted in my opinion. Many fine actors have played the title part including Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Paul Robeson and Richard Burbage. All of these actors have very interesting personal histories especially Paul Robeson. I hope everyone will enjoy this worthwhile production.
Reply to history starved shakecrap
Remember, the Romans and Spanish did their share of pillaging, raping, and conquering...just saying...
Why Did Moor Mean Having To Be In Blackface
Olivier apparently went by stereotype of the Moors being black-skinned because of being from North Africa,which I find offensive,since they raped and killed many in my homeland of Sicily/Spain.Otherwise I would rather pay more attention whenthis movie playing.The Moors were Tunisian,Algerian,Morroccan,?Egyptian,Libyan,not from deepest,darkest Africa.