Orson Welles’ Othello and Macbeth come to DVD

Second Sight Films have announced the UK DVD releases of Orson Welles’ Shakespeare adaptations, Macbeth and Othello. Fully restored for DVD release you will be able to purchase both from 25th August 2003 at a retail price of £19.99 each. Both films will be presented in their original Full Screen aspect ratio with Mono audio, while bonus features are detailed below along with synopses for both...

Othello (1952) - Winning best film at the Cannes Film Festival, Othello is one of Orson Welles’ greatest films. Shot over a four-year period with Welles constantly breaking from filming to raise more money for the shoot, Welles had to be inventive, adapting and improvising to provide credible and innovative shots. The eventual outcome is a now legendary masterpiece.

Extensively restored in the early 1990s, this new version of Welles' original conception is now to be available on DVD for the very first time.

Filled with ingenious camerawork and a vibrant performance from Orson Welles as the famous Moor, the Othello DVD includes extras of Welles’ short film Return to Glennascaul, a ‘Restoring Othello’ feature, trailers and production stills.

Macbeth (1948) - With its dark swirling mists, crackling lightning, dead bodies and heads on spikes, Macbeth is a perfect example of the talent and mastery of film making that distinguishes the work of Orson Welles.

Made with Welles’ typically expressive use of camera and lighting, this visually stunning film is rich in atmosphere and is one of the greatest screen adaptations of Shakespeare ever made despite being shot in an unbelievable 21 days on an extremely tight budget.

Casting himself in the lead but using relatively unknown film actors, Jeanette Nolan made her film debut as Lady Macbeth while other character parts were filled by some of his favourite radio acting colleagues. Yet filled with a raw energy and resonance, Welles’ Macbeth remains an important lesson in the art of filmmaking.

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