Julius Ceasar (1953)

Reid, 6. December 2007, 20:25

Dir. Joseph Mankewiscz
Starring: John Gielgud (Cassius) James Mason (Brutus), Marlon Brando, (Marc Antony), etc.

There’s a lot of great lines in this play, but the score reflects more of the acting and casting. I don’t recall who played Julius Ceasar, but he didn’t have the gravitas and charisma that I would expect for Ceasar. Granted, it’s a small part, but whether we believe this was a great, admirable person will impact the power of the great funeral speech later on.

I was curious to see Brando in a Shakespearean film, given his renown for improvising and method acting. He does a fine job here, and harnesses his ferocity in the funeral speech to good effect, not making taking it over-the-top. On the other hand, I was less impressed with Gielguld. I thought his acting was too theatrical and affected. There are other moments that I think the filmmakers didn’t really do a convincing job. For example, I was curious to see if they would be able to depict subtlety and complexity in Brutus’ character. I didn’t think Mason was convincing in the way he arrived at his decision to kill Ceasar. I also didn’t think the filmmakers captured the conflict in Brutus between his respect for Ceasar and protecting the state.

  1. No Comments

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.