Otello the Moor (Placido Domingo), military governor of Cyprus, is deceived by Iago (Justino Diaz) into believing that his wife Desdemona (Katia Ricciarelli) is unfaithful and murders her. Verdi’s late, great Shakespearean tragedy is given the full panoply of cinematic embellishment (Greek locations, magnificent colour, a superb recreation of a Renaissance world) by director Zeffirelli, who also has a strong cast. The only complaint is the director’s excisions to Verdi’s score, notably that of Desdemona’s famous Willow Song.

Italy, 1986.
English subtitles.
Dolby stereo.
123 mins.

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