Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Merchant of Venice (1972, Cedric Messina)

TitleThe Merchant of Venice
Release LocationsGB
DirectorCedric Messina
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 12 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsThe Merchant of Venice (interpretation)


The program notes in Radio Times note that "the Venice of Titian and the Belmont of Botticelli are the visual inspiration behind . . . [this] lavish production." Subsequently this policy of designing sets and costumes by emulating the works of painters more or less contemporary with Shakespeare became virtually standard practice in the later years of the BBC Shakespeare Plays series. This production shows that the idea was already well developed in the prior work of Cedric Messina and his colleagues

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

ShylockFrank Finlay
AntonioCharles Gray
BassanioChristopher Gable
PortiaMaggie Smith
NerissaNerys Hughes
Duke Of VeniceRobert Harris
MoroccoDavid Spenser
ArragonJohn Moffatt
SolanioRichard Morant
GratianoMalcolm Stoddard
SalerioClive Graham
LorenzoEdward Petherbridge
JessicaAnia Marson
TubalCharles Leno
Launcelot GobboBunny May
Old GobboKen Parry
LeonardoJohn Hug
BalthazarRolf Lefebvre
StephanoAlan Tucker
SoloistMartyn Hill

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorCedric Messina
ProducerGerald Savory
ComposerAnthony Rooley
ComposerJames Tyler
Adaptor/TranslatorRosemary Hill
CostumesJuanita Waterson
LightingRobert Wright
ProductionTony Abbott

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell