Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Merchant of Venice (1916, Walter West)

TitleThe Merchant of Venice
Release LocationsGB
DirectorWalter West
MediumBlack & white video
Length21 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsThe Merchant of Venice (abridgment)


"Typical" of British silent film in the sense that it leaned heavily on the London theatre. The entire cast of the St. James Theatre production was persuaded by the Broadwest Film Company to allow the production to be photographed pretty much "as is." The print at the Folger is incomplete (there may not be a complete print anywhere). It abuptly ends as the trial scene begins with Portia's query: "Is your name Shylock?" It further shows the vogue for putting the Merchant of Venice on screen in an era that was still innocent of the virulent anti-Semitism of Hitler's Europe

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

ShylockMatheson Lang
BassanioJ. R. Tozer
PortiaHutin Britton
LorenzoErnest Caselli
JessicaKathleen Hazel Jones
TubalTerence O'Brien
LauncelotGeorge Morgan

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorWalter West

Company Overview

Producer Broadwest

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell