(Review originally written at 20 November 2009)

Of course the most talked about actor of this movie is Marlon Brando but what about James Mason? He deserves just as much recognition and appreciation for his role in this movie and in my opinion he's also being the actor in the movie and perhaps also plays the biggest role in it.

This is a very old fashioned movie and I'm not talking 1953 old but Shakespeare kind of old. The movie is filled with long and difficult to follow dialog, like only Shakespeare could had wrote it. You obviously need to be able to appreciate Shakespeare in order to enjoy this movie, otherwise you'll probably have difficulties finish watching it.

Best things about a Shakespeare movie, next to its writing, are always the acting performances. A good Shakespeare-performance can make or break a movie. No risks were taking with this movie, as the movie its cast is being filled with some big name actors. Besides Brando and Mason the movie also stars the likes of John Gielgud, Edmond O'Brien, Deborah Kerr and many other actors that had already made name at the time of this production, both in theater and in movies.

The movie is one about betrayal, loyalty and idealistic motives. It focuses on the assassination of Julius Caesar and its conspirators who committed it. One the one side we have the senators who are afraid of Ceasar's growing power and idealistic motives, while on the other we have Mark Antony, loyal to his leader and friend Caesar. After the assassination both become opponents. The movie and its story are mostly being based on historical facts, as they got documented during and after the first Caesar's reign.

Of course the movie foremost is being a stage-play, brought to the silver-screen. This means that the acting is very stagy and also the movie its sets often look like they come straight out of the theater. This however very rarely matters for a Shakespeare movie, fore the movies are all about its writing and acting performances from the leading actors.

Simply a great Shakespeare adaptation, with a first rate cast.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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