Julius Caesar 1953 NR CC

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(145) IMDb 7.4/10
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During the era of the Roman empire, Brutus and Cassius lead a conspiracy to kill Caesar, only to fall to Mark Antony.

Starring:
Marlon Brando, James Mason
Runtime:
2 hours 2 minutes

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Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring Marlon Brando, James Mason
Supporting actors John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Edmond O'Brien, Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr, George Macready, Michael Pate, Richard Hale, Alan Napier, John Hoyt, Tom Powers, William Cottrell, Jack Raine, Ian Wolfe, Morgan Farley, William Phipps, Douglass Watson, Douglass Dumbrille
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

The acting in this was very good.
A. K. Borenstadt
An all-star cast with Marlon Brando, James Mason, Deborah Kerr, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Greer Garson and Edmond O'Brien.
Daniel S.
The beauty of Shakespeare is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways.
dooby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on January 7, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Shakespeare's plays are an inextinguishable source of inspiration for movie-makers. His works are approached from very different stands: as transposition to other time and surroundings as "West Side Story" (1961) and "Ran" (1985); from a very personal optic as "Titus" (2000) and "Looking for Richard" (1996) or as in the present case with a classic approach.

I've seen this movie when I was a kid, keep a very deep impression from it and remained a Brando's fan forever. I saw it again many times afterwards. I was always delighted by the play and the outstanding acting given by Brando, Mason and the rest of the cast.

This is one of the greatest Shakespeare's historical tragedies. Focuses on the last days of Julius Caesar's life, but the main characters are: Brutus, torn apart by his love to the Republic and his loyalty to Caesar and Marc Antony, unfaltering in his love for Caesar and will to revenge his murder.

The cast (a mix of British & Americans actors and actresses) gives an overwhelming performance. First of all Brando's Mark Antony, especially when giving his mournful speech; words are Shakespeare's the powerful way to cast them Marlon's.

James Mason is equally inspired, he transmit to the audience all the storms that rage in Brutus' soul, his moral suffering and final choice.

Only one little step below is John Gielgud's Cassius, the "black eminence" of the conspiracy. The viewer will also enjoy Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr and Edmond O'Brian performances.

A great movie for Shakespeare lovers and general public!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By dooby on November 26, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a thoroughly riveting production of Shakespeare's tragedy. It boasts a stellar cast and excellent production values. I found it strange that it is touted as a Marlon Brando film when Brando doesn't actually play the central role. That honour belongs to James Mason who provides a brilliant portrait of the tormented Brutus, the one truly noble man in this whole sad affair. Sir John Gielgud is also outstanding as the envious, conniving but weak Cassius. Brando's performance, great as it is, should be seen in the context of the equally great performances of those around him. In Robert Osborne's introduction, we are told how Brando sought Gielgud's help in preparing for his role; recording Gielgud's delivery of Antony's lines, and assiduously listening to and studying from them. The final effect is electrifying. This is not the boring Shakespeare dreaded by schoolkids the world over. This is gripping, searing stuff that, as Laurence Fishburne says in the accompanying documentary, made Shakespeare "the Aaron Spelling of his day." The one sore spot was Louis Calhern's Caesar who looks more like Hollywood's caricature of a Roman Patrician than Shakespeare's intended character. But that's a minor quibble for Caesar is really just a minor figure, even though the play does bear his name.

I was delighted by the reviewer who pointed out the interpretational possibilities regarding Brutus' character and motivations. However I disagree with him when he says that the film failed in its depiction of Brutus. The reviewer's preference for a darker, more self-aware Brutus is fascinating to explore but this is a Hollywood film from the early 1950s and we should see it in that context. The beauty of Shakespeare is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By C. Freeman on February 5, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
and this magnificent production of one the Bard's most memorable plays. This movie boasts an all star cast, and each do a splendid job of portraying their characters, my favorite being John Geilgud, one of the all-time great Shakespearean actors who's Cassius is an emotional boilerplate of envy. James Mason's Brutus is his friend and exact emotional opposite: a self-controlled, even-tempered, honor-loving man. Watching the interplay of these two opposites was for me the most thrilling part of the movie. I can't imagine any actors playing these roles other than Mason and Geilgud. Also, Brando's Mark Antony was marvelous to behold. How he skillfully moves the crowd to riot was nothing less than a virtuoso display of acting that proves Brando to be the genius that he was.

If you like Shakespeare, and particularly 'Julius Caesar', but haven't seen this one yet, BUY IT, you won't be disappointed.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Man Martin on January 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Julius Caesar (1953) directed by Joseph Mankiewicz
Forget The Manchurian Candidate, this movie should be required viewing during every campaign season. Watching the mob swayed from one direction to the other first by Brutus' (James Mason) speech and then by Marc Antony's (Marlon Brando) is the best warning there is on the perils of democracy. The same unshaven louts who castigate Caesar during Brutus' speech, lionize him during Antony's. In the end the crowd is whipped into a frenzy of revenge when they hear Caesar left them money and land in his will. In our day this sort of mob control has been replaced with entitlement programs.
Mankiewicz, one of Hollywood's ablest craftsmen, creates a faithful adaptation of this play. One of Shakespeare's most mature and sophisticated tragedies, Julius Caesar is peopled with such complex and subtle characters, we don't know whom to root for. There is no Iago or Richard III to step forward and tell us boldly, "I am a villain." Each of the characters acts for both high and low motivations alike.
Brutus, the noblest and most sympathetic of the characters, battles futilely to save the republic from the inevitable emerging dictatorship. But in spite of his greatness, he is an easy tool for the Machiavellian Cassius (John Gielgud). In a wonderfully nuanced role, Cassius preys on the ambition and vanity Brutus does not even recognize in himself. Cassius, though a callow manipulative bribe-taking scoundrel, can yet be so noble and brave. Shortly before killing himself, he tells his slave he has a final order for him, "Live free." We see beneath his self interest lies a magnanimous heart. In spite of its title, this is not the story of Julius Caesar; his corpse is just the island on which all the other characters fight.
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