13 March 2013

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar 1953
  • Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Based on Book: Shakespeare
  • Cast: Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Greer Garson, Edmund O’Brien, Deborah Kerr.
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • All of them in many old movies
  • Why bought: Shakespeare
  • Seen: twice. First time -? Now October 7, 2012

One doesn’t usually think of Brando in connection to Shakespeare. The mafia, MC hoodlums, overweight monsters in Southeast Asian jungles, yes, but as a Roman statesman, no.
He is, however, an excellent Marc Antony.  Passionate, cold-blooded, haughty, blasé – he captures Shakespeare’s characterization perfectly: a complex, untrustworthy, unlikeable but human character.
The whole cast is good but with names like John Gielgud, James Mason, Greer Garson and Deborah Kerr anything else would have been a disappointment.  The subtlety and range of their facial and vocal expression fulfill expectations and do what Shakespeare demands.
The production is beautifully filmed in black and white, architecturally dramatic, effective use of shadows.
This play is always relevant. This movie does it justice. 4* of 5.

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