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BBC Shakespeare: Julius Caesar 1979

TV-14 CC
3.8 out of 5 stars (19) IMDb 7.2/10

Julius Caesar is a highly ambitious political leader in Rome whose aim is to become dictator. Caesar is assassinated due to the plotting of Marcus Brutus and Cassius, who meet their inevitable defeat and plunge the country into civil war.

Starring:
Richard Pasco, Charles Gray
Runtime:
2 hours, 40 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Herbert Wise
Starring Richard Pasco, Charles Gray
Supporting actors Keith Michell, David Collings, Virginia McKenna, Elizabeth Spriggs, Sam Dastor, Jon Laurimore, John Sterland, Garrick Hagon, Brian Coburn, Leonard Preston, Alexander Davion, Darien Angadi, Andrew Hilton, Anthony Dawes, Roger Bizley, Manning Wilson, Ronald Forfar, Patrick Marley
Studio BBC
MPAA rating TV-14
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I have used this film before while teaching Julius Caesar in my Sophomore English classes. The kids seem to like it more than reading...big shocker right? I like to preview the movie every year before I let the students watch it just that I can point out certain things for them to look for. Then, they can make comparisons between the characters in the play as we read and those same characters in the movie. How were they portrayed differently/similarly and does this change any aspects or perceptions of those characters?
The BBC produces the best performances of Shakespeare's plays, hands down. The actors are well suited for their roles and are convincing in their portrayals.
One of the funny things I tell my students to watch and listen for is near the beginning of the play. Caesar and his entourage are making their way to see the Lupercal Race. Right around the part where Caesar begins to speak to the crowd for the first time you will hear the crowd cheering and yelling loudly. One person stands out very well; this person was obviously cast as a random extra because he's rather terrible yet funny. This extra crowd member just yells "yeah" in a very loud, very drawn out, very sarcastic, almost pirate-ish voice that is easily distinguishable from the rest of the sound. Just listen, you'll hear it.....haha.
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I thought this production was exceedingly well done. The actors were spot on with their interpretation of the dialogue and made it accessible for my students. I will be purchasing the DVD for next year.
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I am currently student teaching and am teaching "Julius Caesar" for the first time. I wanted to review different movie versions of the play as I wanted to show a version to my students as we were reading the play, act by act. After reviewing this version of the play, I decided that it follows the script fairly closely, better than many other versions I have watched. However, the theatrics in this BBC version are not as well done as in other, more "Hollywood" versions. This movie version is also a lot longer in time length compared to other versions. I would recommend this version if you are looking for more of an "audible" version of the play and not for the drama or theater aspect of the play.
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It is difficult to rate Julius Caesar because Shakespeare is, well, Shakespeare. All that being said, the production is very stagey as opposed to produced like a film. But it is shot somewhat in the style of a film rather than as a filming of a stage production, if my meaning is clear. There are close-ups as you would find in film or TV without the look of the whole stage, now and again, to give the impression of being in a theatre. The acting comes across as somewhat tinny and artificial. It is a faithful rendering of the play and enjoyable to watch.
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For my money, the best of the BBC Shakespeare series productions. The actor who plays Julius Caesar portrays the great general so convincingly and sympathetically that one can't help sharing Antony's and Octavius's grief and outrage at Caesar's murder. The ensemble work of the actors who convey the motives of the assassins Brutus, Cassius, and Casca is riveting, flawless. The play itself is hard to ruin. Shakespeare dramatizes a straightforward historical narrative that proceeds from assassination to suicide; the play is about violent men who ultimately pass the same judgment on themselves as upon their remarkable victim. If there is one disappointment, it is the actor who plays Marc Antony; he seems not quite to appreciate the rich irony and innuendo contained in his famous eulogy over the corpse of Caesar; he doesn't quite strike the right rhetorical notes. I've seen that passage played more movingly by other actors. Nevertheless, it is a production worth watching of a time-tested drama about the ever-dangerous divisions between soldiers and politicians.
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I watch a lot of Shakespeare and I suppose that we all have our own preferences but I was really impressed with this film. I know the play well and I was astonished at how truly entertaining it could be. I will be buying a Disc of this performance for my own library. Friends, This is a Great show!
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Watched to help the kids understand to context of the speeches for an English assignment. Found the sound to be quiet, actors do whisper (which is needed for the story) and had to turn the volume up quite a bit. This made the scene with the thunderstorm very loud, so be warned. The kids did find it helpful and were able to complete their assignments with high marks! Personally, it had been a long time since I read Julius Caesar, so many quotable lines from this one play.
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Great version of JC and classic English Actors! English actors do it best!
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