Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Merchant of Venice (1980, Jack Gold)

TitleThe Merchant of Venice
Release LocationsGB
DirectorJack Gold
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 40 mins
Play ConnectionsThe Merchant of Venice (teleplay)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


Visually the production continues the BBC practice of emulating the master artists of Shakespeare's own lifetime in the mise en scène. Belmont, the seat of Portia's ancestral home, swirls in a gauzy mist of airy color. Venice is earthier in texture, as it should be. For Belmont, the model was Titian; for Venice, Canaletto or Watteau. Thus the director played off the idealism of the rural retreat against the crassness of the commercial city, though ironically neither locale is invulnerable to folly or evil. He also accented the play's artistry, which relies on the tension between Portia's surface moralizing and a subterranean current of moral ambiguity

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

ShylockWarren Mitchell
AntonioJohn Franklyn-Robbins
BassanioJohn Nettles
PortiaGemma Jones
NerissaSusan Jameson
Duke Of VeniceDouglas Wilmer
Prince Of MoroccoMarc Zuber
Prince Of ArragonPeter Gale
SolanioAlan David
GratianoKenneth Cranham
SalerioJohn Rhys-Davies
LorenzoRichard Morant
JessicaLeslee Udwin
TubalArnold Diamond
Launcelot GobboEnn Reitel
Old GobboJoe Gladwin
LeonardoRoger Martin
BalthasarDaniel Mitchell
StephanoShaun Scott
Antonio's ServantRichard Austin

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJack Gold
ProducerJonathan Miller
EditorMalcolm Banthorpe
ComposerCarl Davis
Adaptor/TranslatorDavid Snodin
CostumesRaymond Hughes
MakeupMarion Richards
LightingDennis Channon
SoundChick Anthony
MixerJohn Barclay
CameraGeoffrey Field
ProductionOliver Bayldon

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell