Othello: Orson Welles’ Audacious Version of Shakespeare’s Tragedy

Though made on a low budget, Orson Welles’s Othello is a testament to the filmmaker’s determination to pursue his vision against all odds.
Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and also gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice.
The cast includes Suzanne Cloutier as his innocent wife, Desdemona, and Micheál MacLiammóir as the scheming Iago.
Shot over the course of three years in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome and plagued by many logistical problems, this fiercely independent film is a companion piece to Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight, proving that Welles may be the cinema’s most audacious interpreter of the Bard.
European Version
1952 * 93 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.37:1 aspect ratio
U.S. Version
1955 * 93 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.37:1 aspect ratio
* New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European version and the 1955 U.S. version, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by MacLiammóir and actor Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello
* New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow
* New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the differences between the two versions
* New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America
An essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien