Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Othello (1914, Arturo Ambrosio)

Release LocationsItaly
DirectorArturo Ambrosio
MediumBlack & white video
Length32 mins
Audiencecollege and university
Play ConnectionsOthello (abridgment)


An Italian silent film based on Othello. Unfortunately the surviving print in the Library of Congress is, to use R. H. Ball's understated description, "badly disorganized" (214). It is, in fact, in shambles. It's as though the film had been sliced up and re-edited by a mad man. With the titles missing as well, the viewer has great difficulty following the action. For example, in the third reel, well before the "willow" scene, Othello is suddenly discovered strangling Desdemona. The original length of the film (4215 feet) also seems to have been nearly four times lengthier than what now remains (1194 feet).

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

OthelloPaolo Colaci
CassioUbaldo Stefani
IagoRiccardo Tolentino
DesdemonaLéna Lenard

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorArturo Ambrosio

Company Overview

Producer Ambrosio-Photodrama
Lighting Beccaria

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell