Fortunately, Shakespeare's most compressed, most domestic tragedy is here not 'opened out', but kept in its place as a claustrophobic chamber piece. But the basic, very evident fault of the film lies in its initial conception: an apparent desire simply to record Olivier's justly famous stage performance (at the National Theatre, directed by John Dexter). His bravura 'school of semaphore' style will not translate to a subtler, less literary medium, and comes across as such gross hamming as to leave a lingering impression of Othello as some demented nigger minstrel. Yet further evidence (as if more were needed) of the fundamental differences between theatre and film. Great theatre performances need great critics; not some enthusiast with a camera and an eye for posterity. CPea.
Cast and crew