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  • Othello (1981) ( The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - France ]
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Othello (1981) ( The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Othello ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - France ]


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Region 2 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)


Product Details

  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GSH4DS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,489 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

You have some amazing actors performing an amazing play.
Mahu Jedi
What makes this play succeed is a complex and irresistible rendering of Iago.
Nicholas S.
'Amelia' was believable, as was 'Roderigo'; everyone else, way too stilted.
brainout

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dabean on October 9, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Overall, this is a good production and the text is true to Shakespeare's script. Anthony Hopkins does a nice job as Othello; however, the characterization of Desdemona is dreary and disengaging, making it difficult to appreciate his love for her. (note: Sound levels required ongoing adjustments in order to get all of the dialogue.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas S. on February 12, 2014
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What makes this play succeed is a complex and irresistible rendering of Iago. Anthony Hopkins is clear, dominating, and seems in his first soliloquy irresistible both to the other characters and to the audience, until Iago demonstrates how profound and malign irresistibility can be. Bob Hoskins seems made for this part - he's short, quick, charming, and funny. No other character really stands a chance, and neither does the audience. A most accessible and satisfying production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darren on June 14, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
By 1981, Jonathan Miller was producing and this series was hitting its stride. They wanted to cast James Earl Jones as Othello, but the British Actors Equity Association had already ensured in the contract that only British actors would perform in the BBC Shakespeare series. If Jones got the role, the actors would go on strike and pretty much put an end to things. So, Jonathan Miller cast Anthony Hopkins in the role and proclaimed that "Othello" wasn't about race, anyway. OK. I have a question: were there no British black actors available? After all, this was 1981, not 51. I certainly understand that a willing well-known film actor with actual chops like Hopkins would be a hard hire to resist, but did Miller, otherwise so competent and intelligent a producer, seriously believe that "Othello" was not about racial difference? It is the play's sole subject. If race is out of the mix, then the play is merely a soap opera about a gullible idiot who believes anything that anyone tells him, and the play's final effect is just as critic Thomas Rymer, back in 1693, described it: "so much ado, so much stress ... about an handkerchief."

Luckily, Miller's actors -- meaning, Hopkins and Bob Hoskins as Iago -- save his bacon by putting on a terrific acting clinic. Hopkins was obviously a controversial choice as Othello. This actor has, throughout his career, often tended to laziness, but he couldn't afford that luxury here; he needed to bring his A-game. And, apart from a few snigger-inducing moments caused by him overdoing things a bit, he does. He performs Othello's unique and almost psychedelic poetry with understanding and passion. However, he's handicapped by his race. The play requires that the character be a black man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bradley W. Bleck on March 6, 2014
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Anthony Hopkins is a great actor, and it takes great actors to make Shakespeare work. Bob Hoskins is a great Iago, one of the best bad guys in the whole of literature. If there's a problem, it's Othello needing to be more clearly of African descent than Hopkins can pull off. Thank God it's not like Laurence Olivier's "black face" rendition of the same role, but sometimes I have a hard time with it. Despite the great performances at the top of the cast, many of the secondary characters, and even Desdemona, and Amelia, don't quite work for me. But these characters don't much matter. It's the interplay between Iago and Othello that really make this play, and to a lesser degree between Othello and Desdemona and Iago and some of the others, such as Cassio. Hopkin and Hoskins make it all work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By italianice on December 31, 2011
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Hoskins is the quintessential evil antagonist! Down right rotten to the core and wonderfully so!!! Outshines overrated Hopkins by leagues!
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I am a modern newcomer to Shakespeare and no expert. However, the speech was so quickly delivered and the production so flat in this version, I couldn't make it through the film. I then tried the Branaugh version which is FAR superior, highly understandable, and production-wise, a masterpiece, compared to this version. However! That's not to denigrate BBC Shakespeare productions in general as the four new films done by the BBC (Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II, and Henry V) are the best Shakespeare on the film market, IMHO.
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You have some amazing actors performing an amazing play. You really can't go wrong with Hokins and Hoskins. What bliss?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jwright29 on February 10, 2013
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I needed to read Othello for my World Literature course. I had a lot of difficulty reading Othello and keeping the characters straight so I asked my instructor if there was a play that I could watch. She recommended this version and I could not have been happier! The play was true to the text! I actually watched it twice while reading along in my book.
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