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Othello (1965)

Unrated | | Drama | 3 May 1966 (UK)
General Othello's (Sir Laurence Olivier's) marriage is destroyed when vengeful Ensign Iago (Frank Finlay) convinces him that his new wife has been unfaithful.


Stuart Burge


William Shakespeare (play)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Lang ... Roderigo
Frank Finlay ... Iago
Anthony Nicholls ... Brabantio
Laurence Olivier ... Othello
Roy Holder ... Clown
Derek Jacobi ... Cassio
David Hargreaves David Hargreaves ... Senate Officer
Malcolm Terris ... Senate Officer / Senators-Soldiers-Cypriots
Michael Turner ... Gratiano
Kenneth MacKintosh Kenneth MacKintosh ... Lodovico (as Kenneth Mackintosh)
Harry Lomax Harry Lomax ... Duke of Venice
Terence Knapp Terence Knapp ... Duke's Officer / Senators-Soldiers-Cypriots
Keith Marsh Keith Marsh ... Senator
Tom Kempinski Tom Kempinski ... Sailor / Senators-Soldiers-Cypriots
Nick Edmett Nick Edmett ... Messenger / Senators-Soldiers-Cypriots (as Nicholas Edmett)


Desdemona (Dame Maggie Smith) defies her father to marry the Moor of Venice, the mighty warrior, Othello (Sir Laurence Olivier). But Othello's old Ensign, Iago (Frank Finlay), doesn't like Othello, and is determined to bring about the downfall of Othello's new favorite, Cassio (Sir Derek Jacobi), and destroy Othello in the process, by casting aspersions on Othello's new bride. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An actual performance of the National Theatre of Great Britain See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

3 May 1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Otello See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track | Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Features Frank Finlay's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Brabantio: Look to her, Moor; have a quick eye to see. She has deceiv'd her father; may do thee!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film's U.S. DVD release restores the Warner Bros. logo backed by a red curtain and fanfare music to the opening credits, and the "Intermission" title card about ninety minutes into the film. These have not been seen since the film's original U.S. release; they were not featured on the videocassette edition. The long-deleted "intermission break" occurs immediately after Othello says to Iago, "Now art thou my lieutenant" and Iago answers "I am your own forever". See more »


Version of Othello (1965) See more »


Music by Jack Trombey
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

stagy but very successful
15 July 2008 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The National Theatre production of 'Othello' was legendary - one of Laurence Olivier's iconic roles from the era when white actors still blacked up to play the lead part.

But is it really any good on the screen? It is essentially filmed theatre with an overpowering performance from Olivier, which is perhaps too large for viewing away from the stage - but it does benefit from three key parts of excellence in support (Frank Finlay as Iago, in Shakespeare's longest role as far as numbers of lines is concerned; Maggie Smith as a delicate Desdemona; and a very young Derek Jacobi as Cassio, resplendent in fine clothes and groomed hair).

Trimmed slightly from the full play, it nevertheless keeps the main characters and the sense of the story, and plays at nearly two and a half hours. Tight direction, good diction, and - as far as filmed theatre can be - adequate sets give this Othello an edge which means it is still relevant today.

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