Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Julius Caesar (1938, Dallas Bower)

TitleJulius Caesar
Release LocationsGB
DirectorDallas Bower
Length1 hrs, 41 mins
Play ConnectionsJulius Caesar (teleplay)
SeriesScenes from Shakespeare


For its time an ambitious "modern dress" version of Julius Caesar with special scenic effects from stock news footage and incidental music. The use of stock news footage had the effect of pushing the drama "backwards in depth and outwards in space." A contrasting school of theorists believed that the tv camera should instead concentrate on "closing in' to achieve an effect of intimacy. According to BBC producer Michael Barry, the production was influenced by Orson Welles's famous Mercury theatre production in New York City, which pioneered in re-appropriating Shakespearean drama for contemporary times. As Barry suggests, the poltical turmoil in Europe in the ominous years before the outbreak of WW II made this use of Julius Caesar particularly meaningful (Barry, Michael, "Shakespeare on Television," BBC Quarterly 9.3 [Autumn 1954]: 145)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

Julius CaesarErnest Milton
AntonyD.A. Clarke-Smith
Octavius C.Douglas Matthews
LepidusDavid Keir
CalphurniaLaura Cowie
PubliusA. H. Steerman
PopiliusDouglas Stewart
BrutusSebastian Shaw
CassiusAnthony Ireland
CascaLawrence Hanray
Trebonius/VolumniusDennis Price
LigariusVan Courtland
Decius Brutus/MessalaJohn Turnbull
Metullus CimberStuart Latham
CinnaErik Chitty
Cinna, A PoetPatrick Ludlow
PortiaCarol Goodner
SoothsayerColin Gent
LuciliusJ. I. Wood
TitiniusAlan Wheatley
Varro/ CommonerCharles Paton
ClitiusRobin Wentworth
Claudius/CommonerPhil H. Thomas
Strato/CitizenJack Vyvyan
LuciusRobin Maule
DardanusKenneth Eaves
PindarusPatrick Ludlow
WaiterAlan Aldridge
ServantWill Leighton

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorDallas Bower
ProducerGeorge More O'Ferrall
ComposerJames Hartley
Scenic EffectsMalcolm Baker-Smith

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell