Julius Caesar

1953

Biography / Drama / History

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 10046

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 30, 2020 at 04:10 AM

Cast

Marlon Brando as Mark Antony
James Mason as Brutus
Robert Fuller as Citizen of Rome
Deborah Kerr as Portia
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.09 GB
1280*932
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 1 min
P/S 10 / 49
2.24 GB
1472*1072
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 1 min
P/S 10 / 54

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by LomzaLady 10 / 10

They Did the Bard Proud

I think this is the best filming of a Shakespeare play, in terms of overall success. The filming is straightforward, with a minimum of distractions, cuts were made to the script to keep things moving, the dialog is clearly spoken, and the performances are terrific all around.

As just about every other comment here notes, if you only know Brando from The Godfather and some of his later, and sorrier films, you will be amazed and impressed by his Marc Antony. This is the Brando that I remember, buff, gorgeous and so talented that we were sure he could play just about any part and blow us away. His performance of the famous "Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech is a marvel of clarity, and is the linchpin that makes all of the other action of the play make sense.

James Mason is, I think, perfect as Brutus. He is very much like Shakespeare's Hamlet - mulling over every possible facet of every problem he faces, and agonizing to reach a decision. He was a master at portraying a person's ability, or inability, to reach a painful decision. The awesomeness of his responsibility and the consequences of his actions (after all, they are plotting to kill a king) are beautifully shown in his performance.

John Gielgud is my favorite Shakepearean actor. If you had ever had the privilege of seeing him on stage, you would have gotten the full force of his ability to control the character, the language, and to reach out and hold the audience all at the same time. It doesn't quite come across in this film, but I still think he shows that underneath Cassius' treason there is definitely an element of self-doubt and possibly shame at what he is about to do.

I have to disagree with most of the comments about Louis Calhern's Caesar. Several people have said that he didn't capture the majesty and military bearing that Julius Caesar would have had, but we have to remember that Shakespeare intended this as drama, not history. The whole point of the Roman senators' wish to get rid of Caesar is that he is no longer the Caesar they remember: he has become a smug, self-satisfied politician who thinks he is a king, while Rome is still a republic. I think Calhern captures this smarmy, oily, arrogant quality very well. Rome wanted a general, and this Caesar gave them a high-priced car salesman.

I own a copy of this film, and I watch it often. I think it would serve perfectly as an introduction to Shakespeare. By the way, I remember an anecdote related in the memoirs of John Houseman (the producer of this film). He said someone of importance in British theater (I now forget who - possibly it was Geilgud) had observed Brando's performance in the making of the film, and asked him to come to London to star in a Shakespeare festival. Brando said sorry, I can't. I have to get back to Nebraska to help my father get the crop in. Imagine if he had said yes.

Reviewed by critic-2 10 / 10

An excellent film

This production stands as a shining example of how a big Hollywood studio, in this case M-G-M, can make a great Shakespeare film, cast it intelligently, and still end up with box-office names. No less than five Hollywood stars - Marlon Brando, James Mason, Deborah Kerr, Greer Garson, and Edmond O'Brien, are in this film (although two of them have barely five minutes of screen time) and the entire cast gives fine performances.

James Mason, who actually has the leading role of Brutus (despite the fact that Brando gets top billing) is excellent, giving a conscience-stricken, restrained performance--he even LOOKS the way one likes to imagine that Brutus must have looked. Marlon Brando reminds us of what a brilliant actor he once was--for an actor who deliberately stayed away from Shakespeare, his performance is remarkable--and every word he says is understandable. This film was the great John Gielgud's first chance to immortalize one of his great roles on film and to show movie audiences what made him such a renowned Shakespearean actor---his Cassius is full of envy that seems about to boil over any minute. Louis Calhern, a rather hammy villain in other films, is subtly unsympathetic, yet vulnerable as Julius Caesar. The photography is fine and completely unobtrusive---as is the music; director Mankiewicz has filmed the play without resorting to any gimmicks or cheap "Hollywoody" stunts,and the adaptation is so faithful that no one gets on screen credit for it.

Who cares about historical inaccuracies when you can see a great play as well acted as this one?

Reviewed by mik-19 7 / 10

"Ah, how you weep"

50 years after the fact, the most interesting angle on Mankiewicz' 'Julius Caesar' is perhaps the blend of acting styles that characterizes it. With Mankiewicz dialogue is all, and it is a source of endless fascination to me how he manages to make this a uniformly brilliantly acted film.

Mankiewicz doesn't strive to open up the play and make it naturalistic, but he does allow his camera to roam freely, creating space around his characters. But it is in his directing of the actors that he excels, the way that he shows the fragile dynamics in the crowd of conspirators before and after their stabbing of Caesar even more than in the famous monologues. Will history frown upon them? Or applaud their act? "That we shall die, we know", all else is uncertain.

Of course the key scene of the film and Shakespeare's play, takes place right after Caesar's assassination. The rabble has gathered at the Capitol to hear Brutus explain himself, and James Mason, in a refreshingly un-actorish way, beautifully defends Brutus the well-intentioned butcher, laying bare the dilemma of the noble assassin. It was "not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more", and he sways the crowd with his rhetoric.

Then Brando takes the floor, speaking up for his benefactor, the slain Caesar: "Friend, Romans and countrymen, lend me your ear", he says, having carried the bloodied corpse out in his arms. His speech gradually builds in momentum, and the sheer excitement of watching Brando's performance today is reason enough to watch the film. How elegantly, deftly he speaks treason against Brutus and the new would-be rulers. "They are honourable men", he says, and the discrete colouring of the adjective makes it obvious how Mark Anthony really feels about it. "If you have tears, prepare to shed them now" indeed. There are layers in Brando's performance that warrants more than one viewing, just the tolerant half-smile when he is playing the rabble for suckers. "Ah, how you weep". His unfathomable half-smile turns up again near the end, and it speaks volumes.

Of course, John Gielgud as Cassius is volatile and very rooted in the British thespian tradition which doesn't lend itself easily to film in my opinion. Film actor Edmond O'Brien is great as the ambitious and untrustworthy Casca, but unfortunately the women have little to do. Brutus' wife Portia is played by Deborah Kerr who never looked more stunning than here, and she delivers her few lines with conviction. Greer Garson is Caesar's wife, warning him against making an appearance at the Capitol on the fateful day, but she is hardly given any screen-time.

The film is not the last word in Shakespeare in any sense of the word, but it is entertaining and true to what it sets out to do. And the acting styles blend together wonderfully.

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