Othello

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73%

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User Ratings: 1,445
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Movie Info

This British TV production of +Othello is more than a mere updating of the classic William Shakespeare tragedy; with freshly rechristened characters and brand-new dialogue, the film qualifies as a "rethinking" of the 17th century Shakespearean play, albeit still retaining the original's power and potency. The story is set in the London of the near future, a crime-ridden metropolis virtually torn apart by racial hostilities. By order of the Prime Minister, black police officer John Othello (Eamonn Walker) is promoted to Commissioner, a post dearly coveted by Othello's friend, mentor and fellow officer Ben Jago (Christopher Eccleston). Seething with jealousy, Jago contrives to discredit Othello in the eyes of the public, and to destroy John's interracial marriage to the lily-white Dessie (Keeley Hawes). Among those used as unwitting dupes to gain Jago's ends are Othello's trusted lieutenant, Michael Cass (Richard Coyle), scrupulously honest police constable Alan Roderick (Del Synnott), and Jago's own wife, Lulu (Rachael Stirling). Typical of the film's modernizations is the handling of the evidence "proving" Dessie's infidelity. In place of the incriminating handkerchief in the Shakespearean original, a robe is offered which has been tampered with by Jago so that the DNA lab will find evidence that Dessie has not only cuckolded Othello, but also is part of a greater plan to ruin his reputation. A co-production of London Weekend Television, Canada's CBC, and America's PBS, Othello was first shown in the U.S. as part of the last-named network's Masterpiece Theatre anthology on January 29, 2002.

Cast

Eamonn Walker
as John Othello
Bill Paterson
as Sinclair Carver
Richard Coyle
as Michael Cass
Allan Cutts
as Stiller
Del Synnott
as Alan Roderick
Nicholas Gecks
as Home Secretary
Andrew Charleson
as Tommy Rogers
John Harding
as Prime Minister
Tim Faraday
as Chief Superintendant
Michael Newell
as Alma Carver
Tim Frances
as Newspaper Editor
Gerrard McArthur
as Jim Gordon
Phillip Lester
as Photographer
Timothy Birkett
as Photographer
Anna Niland
as Estelle
John Snow
as Newsreader
Claire Oberman
as Prosecuting Counsel
Bob Friend
as TV Chairman
Morgan Johnson
as Billy Coates
Samantha McDonald
as Woman in Court
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Critic Reviews for Othello

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (1)

  • Anyone who buys into the idea that tragedies are supposed to be ennobling should take a look at this contemporized version of Othello on Masterpiece Theatre, a potently disturbing telepic probably without peer.

    Nov 7, 2018 | Full Review…

    Steven Oxman

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • If they're going to get rid of all that iambic pentameter, why not change the depressing ending too?

    Feb 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Othello

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