Julius Caesar


2h 1m 1953
Julius Caesar

Brief Synopsis

An all-star adaptation of Shakespeare's classic about Julius Caesar's assassination and its aftermath.

Film Details

Also Known As
William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Genre
Drama
Historical
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1953
Premiere Information
World premiere in New York: 3 Jun 1953
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (London, 1599, published 1623).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 1m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints), 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (1969 UK re-release), Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (original release)
Color
Black and White, Black and White (tinted) (1969 UK re-release)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1, 2.20 : 1
Film Length
10,795ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

In 44 B.C., tribunes Flavius and Marullus watch with contempt as the citizens of Rome indulge in revelry to celebrate their leader Julius Caesar's triumph over Pompey. After pulling garlands off Caesar's statues and denouncing the self-appointed dictator, the two men are taken away by guards. Later, at a ceremonial race, Caesar is approached by a soothsayer, who tells him to beware the ides of March. Outside the stadium, Caesar's former comrades, Cassius and Brutus, discuss their dissatisfaction with the present regime. Meanwhile, Caesar confides to his loyal protégé, Mark Antony, that he considers the smart, ambitious Cassius dangerous. Later, Brutus and Cassius encounter Casca, who relates how Caesar was offered a crown by Mark Antony three times during the ceremonies. Casca says that Caesar made a big show of refusing the crown, thus inciting the crowd, before succumbing to his "falling sickness" and passing out. That night, a fierce storm rips through the streets of Rome, and rumors of supernatural phenomena spread. Cassius approaches Casca in the street and enlists him in his conspiracy against Caesar. In his home, Brutus ponders his earlier conversation with Cassius through the night, and as dawn breaks on the ides of March, he concludes that only Caesar's death will release Rome from his tyranny. Cassius comes by with Casca and several other conspirators, and Brutus agrees to join them. Cassius proposes that Mark Antony be killed as well, but Brutus cautions against excessive bloodshed and assures the others that Mark Antony is harmless. After Cassius and the others leave, Brutus' wife Portia awakens and implores Brutus in vain to tell her what has been troubling him lately. Meanwhile, Caesar's wife Calpurnia awakens in terror from a nightmare, and tells her husband that dire omens say he must not go out. Caesar orders a sacrifice, and the augurs confirm Calpurnia's fears. Caesar refuses to be intimidated by these portents, but to placate his wife, agrees to send Mark Antony to the senate house to say that Caesar is unwell. When Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators, comes to escort Caesar to the senate house, Caesar says he will not go, confiding that Calpurnia dreamed she saw Caesar's statue spouting blood. Decius Brutus insists that the dream was misinterpreted, and actually signifies good tidings for Rome. He adds that the senate has decided to give Caesar a crown that day, and Caesar is ashamed for almost yielding to his wife's fears. Caesar meets up with the conspirators in the street, and they encounter the soothsayer, who reminds Caesar that the ides of March has not yet passed. Inside the senate house, the conspirators stab Caesar to death, with the horrified Brutus delivering the fatal thrust. Mark Antony's servant comes bearing a conciliatory message, and Brutus and the others agree to meet with him. Mark Antony stands sadly over his mentor's bloody corpse, then, summoning all his self-control, makes peace with Caesar's killers. He requests that he be allowed to speak at Caesar's funeral, and over Cassius' protests, Brutus agrees, on the condition that Mark Antony not assign blame. The assassins disperse and Mark Antony, alone with Caesar's corpse, apologizes to his fallen friend and vows to avenge him. Brutus addresses the hysterical crowd that has assembled outside the senate house, justifying his actions by saying that he loved Rome more than Caesar, who had grown too ambitious. Brutus wins the crowd over, then departs so that Mark Antony may address them. The citizens are initially hostile to Caesar's former aide, but Mark Antony commands their attention with an emotional speech that cleverly pokes holes in the conspirators' explanation, at Brutus' expense. He then inflames the crowd by revealing that Caesar's will bequeathed all his wealth to the citizens of Rome, and stirs their passion by showing them Caesar's corpse. Soon the crowd is screaming for revenge against the "traitors" who killed Caesar. As the mob begins to riot in the streets, Mark Antony quietly slips away. Later, Brutus and Cassius have formed armies and fled, and Rome is under the rule of Caesar's heir Octavius, Mark Antony and Lepidus. While preparing for war against the conspirators, the triumvirate issues death sentences against scores of political enemies. Meanwhile, at his camp near Sardis, Brutus is visited by Cassius, and the two men argue bitterly over the corruption in Cassius' forces. Brutus then reveals that Portia has killed herself, and they put their differences aside. Word comes that the triumvirate's purge has claimed the lives of up to one hundred senators, and that Mark Antony and Octavius are leading forces toward Philippi. Brutus proposes that they meet their enemy at Philippi, and despite his misgivings, Cassius accedes. Late that night, Brutus is visited by Caesar's ghost, who states that he will see Brutus at Philippi. The following morning, on the plains of Philippi, Brutus and Cassius say their farewells before risking everything on one battle. Mark Antony's army is strategically positioned in the hills, and Cassius' troops suffer a terrible defeat. In despair, Cassius orders his bondman to kill him with the same dagger he used to slay Caesar. Later, as Brutus surveys the carnage, he tells his old friend Volumnius that Caesar's ghost appeared to him again in the fields of Philippi. Certain that defeat is inevitable, Brutus says goodbye to his men and instructs his servant to hold his sword while he throws himself on it. Later, Mark Antony stands over Brutus' body and praises the honorable man--the only one of the assassins to have acted purely out of concern for his country's welfare--as "the noblest Roman of them all."

Photo Collections

Julius Caesar (1953) - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of photos taken to help publicize MGM's Julius Caesar (1953), starring Marlon Brando, Deborah Kerr, James Mason, and Greer Garson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Genre
Drama
Historical
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1953
Premiere Information
World premiere in New York: 3 Jun 1953
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (London, 1599, published 1623).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 1m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints), 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (1969 UK re-release), Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (original release)
Color
Black and White, Black and White (tinted) (1969 UK re-release)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1, 2.20 : 1
Film Length
10,795ft (12 reels)

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1953

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1953
Marlon Brando

Best Cinematography

1953

Best Music, Original or Comedy Series

1954

Best Picture

1953

Articles

Julius Caesar (1953) - Julius Caesar


Julius Caesar (1953) was one of numerous MGM films on which William Tuttle worked during his tenure as head of the studio's makeup department from 1950 to 1969. For this powerful Joseph L. Mankiewicz adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy, Tuttle chose a subtle, minimalist makeup for the faces of the film's outstanding male cast, headed by Marlon Brando as Marc Antony, Louis Calhern as Caesar, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius and Edmond O'Brien as Casca. At one point Brando was fitted with a latex nose, slightly larger than his own, to give him a more heroically Roman look. After one test, however, the idea was rejected. Tuttle gave the full 1950s glamour treatment to MGM's two "great ladies," Greer Garson as Calpurnia, wife of Caesar; and Deborah Kerr as Portia, wife of Brutus.

Producer John Houseman decided at the outset that the U.S.-made movie should incorporate American actors along with English ones in its cast, although MGM executives had pushed for an all-British ensemble. "I argued that in that case the film should be made in Europe by a British company -- not by MGM in Culver City," Houseman wrote in his autobiography.

Among the British actors, Gielgud was the biggest casting coup since Julius Caesar would mark his Hollywood film debut and offer him a chance to reprise a role that had just won him kudos at Stratford-on-Avon. Among the Americans, Brando -- still strongly associated with the brutish, mumbling Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) -- was a controversial choice. There were many complaints in the press about the "inappropriate" casting, with one columnist sarcastically proposing that MGM advertise the movie with photos of Brando in a torn toga. Hedda Hopper went so far as to say she completely disbelieved the casting because Brando's "voice just wouldn't blend with the rest of the cast."

Brando had refused a screen test but, to win the role, did agree to make audio tapes demonstrating his ability to handle Shakespearean dialogue. Director Mankiewicz was unimpressed by Brando's first taped efforts, telling the actor that he sounded "just like June Allyson"! The director then worked with his star on a recording of Antony's speech as he enters the Senate after Caesar's assassination. This time the results were good enough to convince everyone involved, including Mankiewicz, that Brando was up for the challenge.

Showing a generosity that Houseman called "rare among actors," the classically trained Gielgud spent hours on the set coaching Brando in his delivery and emotional approach, helping his Method-trained costar achieve a polished, heartfelt performance that won him laudatory notices and an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. For Brando, it was the third of four consecutive nominations -- the final one of which, for On the Waterfront (1954), finally earned him his first Oscar. Although its sets were salvaged from Quo Vadis? (1951) and stripped of their ornamentation, Julius Caesar won an Oscar for the Art Direction/Set Decoration by a team headed by Edward C. Carfagno and Cedric Gibbons. Nominations also came in the categories of Best Picture, Black-and-White Cinematography and Music Score.

Producer: John Houseman
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Screenplay: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (uncredited), from the play by William Shakespeare
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons
Original Music: Miklos Rozsa
Editing: John Dunning Costume Design: Herschel McCoy Principal Cast: Marlon Brando (Marc Antony), James Mason (Brutus), John Gielgud (Cassius), Louis Calhern (Julius Caesar), Edmond O'Brien (Casca), Greer Garson (Calpurnia), Deborah Kerr (Portia), George Macready (Marullus), Michael Pate (Flavius), Richard Hale (Soothsayer), Alan Napier (Cicero).
BW-122m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Roger Fristoe
Julius Caesar (1953) - Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar (1953) - Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar (1953) was one of numerous MGM films on which William Tuttle worked during his tenure as head of the studio's makeup department from 1950 to 1969. For this powerful Joseph L. Mankiewicz adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy, Tuttle chose a subtle, minimalist makeup for the faces of the film's outstanding male cast, headed by Marlon Brando as Marc Antony, Louis Calhern as Caesar, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius and Edmond O'Brien as Casca. At one point Brando was fitted with a latex nose, slightly larger than his own, to give him a more heroically Roman look. After one test, however, the idea was rejected. Tuttle gave the full 1950s glamour treatment to MGM's two "great ladies," Greer Garson as Calpurnia, wife of Caesar; and Deborah Kerr as Portia, wife of Brutus. Producer John Houseman decided at the outset that the U.S.-made movie should incorporate American actors along with English ones in its cast, although MGM executives had pushed for an all-British ensemble. "I argued that in that case the film should be made in Europe by a British company -- not by MGM in Culver City," Houseman wrote in his autobiography. Among the British actors, Gielgud was the biggest casting coup since Julius Caesar would mark his Hollywood film debut and offer him a chance to reprise a role that had just won him kudos at Stratford-on-Avon. Among the Americans, Brando -- still strongly associated with the brutish, mumbling Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) -- was a controversial choice. There were many complaints in the press about the "inappropriate" casting, with one columnist sarcastically proposing that MGM advertise the movie with photos of Brando in a torn toga. Hedda Hopper went so far as to say she completely disbelieved the casting because Brando's "voice just wouldn't blend with the rest of the cast." Brando had refused a screen test but, to win the role, did agree to make audio tapes demonstrating his ability to handle Shakespearean dialogue. Director Mankiewicz was unimpressed by Brando's first taped efforts, telling the actor that he sounded "just like June Allyson"! The director then worked with his star on a recording of Antony's speech as he enters the Senate after Caesar's assassination. This time the results were good enough to convince everyone involved, including Mankiewicz, that Brando was up for the challenge. Showing a generosity that Houseman called "rare among actors," the classically trained Gielgud spent hours on the set coaching Brando in his delivery and emotional approach, helping his Method-trained costar achieve a polished, heartfelt performance that won him laudatory notices and an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. For Brando, it was the third of four consecutive nominations -- the final one of which, for On the Waterfront (1954), finally earned him his first Oscar. Although its sets were salvaged from Quo Vadis? (1951) and stripped of their ornamentation, Julius Caesar won an Oscar for the Art Direction/Set Decoration by a team headed by Edward C. Carfagno and Cedric Gibbons. Nominations also came in the categories of Best Picture, Black-and-White Cinematography and Music Score. Producer: John Houseman Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz Screenplay: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (uncredited), from the play by William Shakespeare Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons Original Music: Miklos Rozsa Editing: John Dunning Costume Design: Herschel McCoy Principal Cast: Marlon Brando (Marc Antony), James Mason (Brutus), John Gielgud (Cassius), Louis Calhern (Julius Caesar), Edmond O'Brien (Casca), Greer Garson (Calpurnia), Deborah Kerr (Portia), George Macready (Marullus), Michael Pate (Flavius), Richard Hale (Soothsayer), Alan Napier (Cicero). BW-122m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video. by Roger Fristoe

Julius Caesar (architectural version) - Julius Caesar (1953)


Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz set out to "eliminate the bric a brac" so commonly a part of studio historical spectacles when he adapted Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in 1953. Placed beside blockbusters like Quo Vadis (1951) or Ben-Hur (1959), Julius Caesar makes life in Rome seem uncrowded and intimate in scope. The simplicity of the set design, in fact, won the film the Oscar® for Best Art/Set Decoration that year at the Academy Awards ceremony because the art team of Cedric Gibbons, Edward C. Carfagno, Hugh Hunt and Edwin B. Willis recreated Rome on a human scale. Gone is the towering Circus Maximus. The film only glimpses the gates of the great arena. Instead it focuses on the solid bases of grand buildings, stairways and upward glances at statues of tribute. This Rome is a people's Rome, viewed from the vantage point of every citizen. The only set with real grandeur is Caesar's residence. The Senate hall is the simplest of all.

One sequence that draws special mention is the battle scene towards the end of the film. Shot in Bronson Caverns, California, the setting is reminiscent of a Monument Valley Western. In fact, a portion of The Searchers was filmed there.

Mankiewicz's vision worked for Julius Caesar, throwing the focus away from the background and onto the actors. It also laid a plain visual palate to balance Shakespeare's weighty language. And while the sets appear simple, Julius Caesar was still the third most expensive film MGM made that year.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Producer: John Houseman
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Editing: John D. Dunning
Music: Miklos Rozsa
Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons
Set Decoration: Hugh Hunt, Edwin B. Willis
Costume Design: Herschel McCoy
Cast: Marlon Brando (Marc Antony), James Mason (Brutus), John Gielgud (Cassius), Louis Calhern (Julius Caesar), Edmond O'Brien (Casca), Deborah Kerr (Portia), Greer Garson (Calpurnia).
BW-122m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Stephanie Thames

Julius Caesar (architectural version) - Julius Caesar (1953)

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz set out to "eliminate the bric a brac" so commonly a part of studio historical spectacles when he adapted Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in 1953. Placed beside blockbusters like Quo Vadis (1951) or Ben-Hur (1959), Julius Caesar makes life in Rome seem uncrowded and intimate in scope. The simplicity of the set design, in fact, won the film the Oscar® for Best Art/Set Decoration that year at the Academy Awards ceremony because the art team of Cedric Gibbons, Edward C. Carfagno, Hugh Hunt and Edwin B. Willis recreated Rome on a human scale. Gone is the towering Circus Maximus. The film only glimpses the gates of the great arena. Instead it focuses on the solid bases of grand buildings, stairways and upward glances at statues of tribute. This Rome is a people's Rome, viewed from the vantage point of every citizen. The only set with real grandeur is Caesar's residence. The Senate hall is the simplest of all. One sequence that draws special mention is the battle scene towards the end of the film. Shot in Bronson Caverns, California, the setting is reminiscent of a Monument Valley Western. In fact, a portion of The Searchers was filmed there. Mankiewicz's vision worked for Julius Caesar, throwing the focus away from the background and onto the actors. It also laid a plain visual palate to balance Shakespeare's weighty language. And while the sets appear simple, Julius Caesar was still the third most expensive film MGM made that year. Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz Producer: John Houseman Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg Editing: John D. Dunning Music: Miklos Rozsa Art Direction: Edward C. Carfagno, Cedric Gibbons Set Decoration: Hugh Hunt, Edwin B. Willis Costume Design: Herschel McCoy Cast: Marlon Brando (Marc Antony), James Mason (Brutus), John Gielgud (Cassius), Louis Calhern (Julius Caesar), Edmond O'Brien (Casca), Deborah Kerr (Portia), Greer Garson (Calpurnia). BW-122m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video. by Stephanie Thames

Quotes

Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!
- Julius Caesar
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar.
- Marc Antony
This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he that they did in envy of great Caesar. He only, in gentle honest though, and common will for all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed up in him that the nature might stand up and say to all the world, This Was A Man!
- Mark Anthony

Trivia

Notes

The film's opening credits read "William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar." The opening credits also include the following quotation, attributed to the popular Ancient Roman biographer and historian Plutarch, but possibly paraphrased from his writings: "Upon Caesar's return to Rome, after defeating Pompey in the civil war, his countrymen chose him a fourth time counsel and then dictator for life...Thus he became odius to moderate men through the extravagance of the titles and powers that were heaped upon him." Although there is no onscreen credit for screenplay or adaptation, publicity material in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library indicates that producer John Houseman and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz worked independently to edit Shakespeare's play for the screen, then consolidated their changes in one final script, which was prepared by Mankiewicz. The opening cast credits differ in order from the closing credits, which list the cast members in order of appearance. In the opening credits, the principal actors are listed in the following order: Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Edmond O'Brien, Greer Garson and Deborah Kerr. Although the character's name is usually spelled "Marc Antony," the onscreen credits list it as "Mark Antony."
       According to modern sources, Orson Welles had been planning to film Julius Caesar when M-G-M began working on its version. In a modern interview, Welles said that he had been offered financing by Egypt's King Farouk to film a modern-dress version of the play, adding that he hoped to cast Richard Burton as "Brutus." Houseman, who had collaborated with Welles on the acclaimed 1937 Mercury Theatre stage version, which drew parallels between the events in ancient Rome and the rise of fascism in Europe, recalled in his memoir that he received a letter from Welles in July 1952. Houseman wrote that Welles suggested either a collaboration or a financial settlement between himself and M-G-M, a proposal the studio's legal department promptly rejected. Houseman also noted that M-G-M's production was delayed because, although Shakespeare's play was in the public domain, independent producer David O. Selznick held the rights to the title "Julius Caesar"-having registered it with the MPAA-and refused to relinquish them. As a November 10, 1952 Los Angeles Times news item explained, the MPAA administered title registration "under a priority-rights system which, while not legally binding, is usually honored as a gentlemen's agreement by majors and indies alike."        The news item added that M-G-M first considered filming Julius Caesar in 1934, but opted to make Romeo and Juliet instead. By the time M-G-M again became interested in Julius Caesar in 1946, ownership of the title had passed to independent producer Edward Small, with Selznick next in line. Selznick then acquired the rights, but when he failed to put the film into production within the time period specified by the title registration bureau, the title went to M-G-M.
       A August 24, 1951 news item in Hollywood Reporter reported that M-G-M intended to film Julius Caesar on location in Rome, financing the production with frozen lira from The Great Caruso and other successful releases. Plans to shoot the film on location did not materialize, however. According to modern sources, Bronson Canyon in Hollywood substituted for the battlefields of Philippi. According to May 1952 Hollywood Reporter news items, M-G-M originally considered Laurence Olivier for the part of "Julius Caesar" and sought Leo Genn for a role in the film. A October 29, 1952 item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column claimed that Marlon Brando was cast as "Mark Antony" because Richard Burton was not available. Modern sources contend that British stage actor Paul Scofield, who was originally considered for the part of Brutus, had already been scheduled to test for Mark Antony when Houseman proposed Brando for the role. A biography of Brando states that the studio wanted Stewart Granger to play Mark Antony. According to a August 5, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, John Dehner was originally cast in the role of "Messala." Hollywood Reporter news items include Wilton Graff, Morris Ankrum, Victor Wood and Mervin Williams in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. A October 10, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item adds fencing coach Jean Heremance to the cast, but his appearance in the film has not been confirmed.
       A May 28, 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Johnny Green, head of M-G-M's music department, was composing an overture for the film. According to a 1977 article in Films and Filming, Mankiewicz and Houseman had wanted composer Bernard Herrmann to write the music for the film, but were forced to use M-G-M contract composer Miklos Rozsa when Green and studio head Dore Schary refused to pay Herrmann's salary. The article adds that Rozsa wrote and recorded an overture, but Green replaced it with Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien. The overture in the released film was not by Tchaikovsky, however, and only Rozsa is credited onscreen with the film's music. In May 1953, a spoken-word recording of Julius Caesar, assembled from the film's soundtrack, was released by a subsidiary of M-G-M.
       According to information in the film's production file, Mankiewicz shot each scene of Julius Caesar in sequence. Houseman's memoir adds that Mankiewicz insisted on rehearsing for three weeks on the actual sets, in part to achieve strict control over the sound-recording process so that the actors' lines would not have to be re-recorded. Houseman wrote that their adjustments during rehearsals paid off: "In the final print of Julius Caesar there are not more than two dozen lines of 'looped' dialogue." Houseman also wrote that he and Mankiewicz decided against making the film in color or CinemaScope "on purely dramatic grounds," explaining that Shakespeare's tragedy called for "intensity and intimacy rather than grandeur; for direct violent confrontations that do not benefit from a lush, polychrome background." Moreover, Houseman noted, shooting the film in black and white enabled them to use scenery from M-G-M's 1951 Roman epic Quo Vadis "and still avoid an appearance of duplication that would be painfully obvious in color."
       A number of modern sources maintain that veteran Shakespearean actor John Gielgud, who made his American film debut in Julius Caesar, coached Brando in his first classical role. In his memoir, Gielgud acknowledged that Brando asked him to make a tape-recording of one of Mark Antony's speeches for him to study, along with other recordings. "He had tapes of Maurice Evans and John Barrymore and three or four other actors and listened to them every day to improve his diction," Gielgud wrote. Brando won praise for his performance, and the film received generally strong reviews, both in the United States and England. The British publication News Chronicle wrote, "It is maddening to be forced to admit it-but it has been left to Hollywood to make the finest film version of Shakespeare yet to be seen on our screens." The Saturday Review (of Literature) review asserted that the film featured "the best Shakespearean acting yet seen on film." Julius Caesar was chosen best picture of the year by the National Board of Review and received an Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Black and White). The film was also nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Cinematography (Black and White) and Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
       Julius Caesar had already been adapted for film a number of times, most recently as a 16mm student film produced by David Bradley at Northwestern University. Made primarily for educational purposes, the low-budget film, which featured Charlton Heston as Mark Antony, was released theatrically in 1950 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). A 1970 British version again featured Heston as Marc Antony, with Jason Robards as Brutus and Gielgud as Caesar. The play has also been adapted for television many times. Modern sources name Phil Rhodes and Ken DuMain as Brando's stand-ins.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted Best American Film and Best Actor (Mason) by the 1953 National Board of Review.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best American Films by the 1953 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States 1996

Released in United States March 14, 1989

Released in United States on Video November 7, 2006

Released in United States Summer June 1953

Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival March 14, 1989.

Released in United States 1996 (Shown in New York City (American Museum of the Moving Image) as part of program "The Essential Brando" March 16 - April 7, 1996.)

Released in United States March 14, 1989 (Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival March 14, 1989.)

Released in United States Summer June 1953

Released in United States on Video November 7, 2006