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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the few good movie versions of a Shakespeare play.
Much better than the earlier Julius Caesar, which starred Marlon Brando as Mark Antony and James Mason as Brutus. In this version, Jason Robards as Brutus is admittedly an embarrassment, but the rest of the cast is quite strong. The delivery of Antony's funeral oration by Charlton Heston is brilliant, powerful, well-paced, the dramatic high point of the movie...
Published on Sept. 5 1999 by Curtis Crawford

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little more than terrible
I ordered this DVD for use in teaching the play. I had anticipated it for months and waited with impatience for its release; I now find I was impatient for mediocrity. The performances are disappointing, with only Richard Chamberlain as Octavious showing any passion in performance. Indeed, Jason Robards as Brutus is the poorest Shakespearean acting I've yet seen, and it's...
Published on May 27 2004 by J. Walsh


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the few good movie versions of a Shakespeare play., Sept. 5 1999
By 
Curtis Crawford (Charlottesville, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
Much better than the earlier Julius Caesar, which starred Marlon Brando as Mark Antony and James Mason as Brutus. In this version, Jason Robards as Brutus is admittedly an embarrassment, but the rest of the cast is quite strong. The delivery of Antony's funeral oration by Charlton Heston is brilliant, powerful, well-paced, the dramatic high point of the movie. Richard Johnson as Cassius, John Gielgud as Caesar, Robert Vaughn as Casca and Diana Rigg as Portia are fine actors, with full dramatic presence, at home in Shakespeare's language. Brief parts, like the soothsayer's and the cobbler's, are memorably played. The screenplay omits two short passages that are important to the plot: (1) Cassius' avowal in the first act, after his attempt to persuade Brutus to oppose Caesar, that if their positions were reversed and he, Cassius, stood as well with Caesar as Brutus does and Brutus made a comparable appeal to him, he would certainly not listen. (2) Immediately after the assassination, a promise by Brutus to Antony's servant of safe conduct for Antony, who thus knows when he comes to the Capitol and weeps over Caesar's body, challenging the conspirators to kill him also, that he is in no danger of their doing so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little more than terrible, May 27 2004
By 
J. Walsh - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar (DVD)
I ordered this DVD for use in teaching the play. I had anticipated it for months and waited with impatience for its release; I now find I was impatient for mediocrity. The performances are disappointing, with only Richard Chamberlain as Octavious showing any passion in performance. Indeed, Jason Robards as Brutus is the poorest Shakespearean acting I've yet seen, and it's an embarassment for anyone attempting to light a fire for Shakespeare in teenagers. Robards speaks his lines as if he is reading them for the first time on his couch at home.
Until Hollywood gives this another try, I recommend the BBC version of the play available with English subtitles from Ambrose Video. Of course, there is always the Brando version of the play with James Mason doing a much more credible job than Robards as Brutus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common?, June 16 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar [Import] (DVD)
What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common? Answer: They all look like Charlton Heston.
If somehow you missed the play or the history, basically Julius Caesar let his status go to his head and is about to take on the role of emperor. It is up to a handful of Noble Romans to see that this does not happen. The play is about these individuals, their individual purposes and what happens to them after the attempt to stop him. The focus is on Caesar's right arm (Mark Antony).

This is a 1970 rendition of Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" that is well adapted for the screen. Hence the characters are well known contemporaries. You will notice the major players and might miss some of the others such as Preston Lockwood (Trebonius) who played the Judge in "Strong Poison" ASIN: B000062XDY. With many movies the actor out shine the character and totally changes the emphasis of the story. However this version is well done with maybe the exception of Jason Robards (Brutus) who sometimes seems like Jason Robards playing Brutus at other times he is quite exceptional. Diana Rigg (Portia) who looks like a little girl is the only person that sounds like she is speaking in meter. Everyone speaks clearly and pauses long enough for you to think before moving on. Facial expressions are important to the story and they do not look like they are yelling at you (except in speeches).

You will notice that the back ground music is also of 70's vantage and is used to emphasize certain scenes. However the volume is not so high that you can not hear the clear pronunciation of the lines. Also the costumes made with satin are distracting. At one point Antony looks like Carol Burnett when she was wearing a curtain and left the rod in.

As the play proceeds you will be so wrapped up in it that you will not care about the little differences in form and be totally absorbed in the film. There may be better versions and/or more favorite versions but that doe not make this version any less worth having.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Successful Version of Shakespeare's Caesar, Dec 6 2003
By 
fra7299 "fra7299" (California, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
Not a bad version at all of Shakespeare's play. Most of the attention for Julius Caesar is clearly with the 1950s version, but this one holds up as well. In this version, Charlton Heston plays Antony. Others include Jason Richards (Brutus), John Gielgud (Caesar), Richard Johnson (Cassius), Robert Vaughn (Casca), Richard Chamberlain (Octavius), and Diana Riggs (Portia).
In this story, Brutus comes forth as the tragic hero who joins the conspiracy to kill the ambitious Roman, Julius Caesar. Shakespeare's story delves much into the realm of politics within the Roman society. Brutus' tragic flaw is perhaps that he sees too much of the benevolent side of people and society; he gives in to help Rome only after pondering deeply the plan of Cassius, and "trusts" Antony to not give a stirring speech (big mistake there). He still considers Caesar a "good" man, but justifies his role in the conspiracy as for the common good of Rome. A tale that definitely concerns itself with justification, or lack thereof, of removing leaders from political positions, and the consequences those actions bring unto an entire nation and their citizens.
The set design, background and acting are true to the play. One of the differences between this and the Brando version is the scene in which Caesar is assassinated. It is far more bloody and gruesome (yet the movie is rated G, go figure). Heston, as Antony, does a decent job with the "Countrymen, lend me your ears" speech, making an emotional appeal to the crowd as a friend of Caesar. He stirs up the rage among the Romans in this emotional appeal on Caesar's behalf. Eventually, he will go to war against two of the leaders of the conspiracy, Cassius and Brutus.
This is definitely worth a view, especially if you are a Shakespeare fan. This also is an excellent resource for the study of Julius Caesar.
Also Recommended: Julius Caesar (Marlon Brando version)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the unkindest cut of all, May 18 2004
By 
James Field "jamesfield10" (New Westminster, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Julius Caesar (DVD)
This is an excellent production of Julius Caesar, barring some atrociously wooden acting by Jason Roberts, who seems to think that Shakespeare needs to be performed as if he were a bored high school student reading (clumbsily) directly from the script. What was he thinking? Oh, and of course, the makers of this DVD thought they were doing Rome a favour by assasinating the picture: formatted to fit your screen is the way they put it, like they were doing you a favour. Some day maybe DVD manufacturers will realize some DVD purchasers have widescreen TVs! And maybe Amazon will provide better information about the DVDs so we will know we are getting a DVD that's been cut down to size when we order it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common?, Oct. 22 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar [Import] (DVD)
What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common? Answer: They all look like Charlton Heston.

If somehow you missed the play or the history, basically Julius Caesar let his status go to his head and is about to take on the role of emperor. It is up to a handful of Noble Romans to see that this does not happen. The play is about these individuals, their individual purposes and what happens to them after the attempt to stop him. The focus is on Caesar's right arm (Mark Antony).

This is a 1970 rendition of Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" that is well adapted for the screen. Hence the characters are well known contemporaries. You will notice the major players and might miss some of the others such as Preston Lockwood (Trebonius) who played the Judge in "Strong Poison". With many movies the actor out shine the character and totally changes the emphasis of the story. However this version is well done with maybe the exception of Jason Robards (Brutus) who sometimes seems like Jason Robards playing Brutus at other times he is quite exceptional. Diana Rigg (Portia) who looks like a little girl is the only person that sounds like she is speaking in meter. Everyone speaks clearly and pauses long enough for you to think before moving on. Facial expressions are important to the story and they do not look like they are yelling at you (except in speeches).

You will notice that the background music is also of 70's vantage and is used to emphasize certain scenes. However the volume is not so high that you can not hear the clear pronunciation of the lines. Also the costumes made with satin are distracting. At one point Antony looks like Carol Burnett when she was wearing a curtain and left the rod in.

As the play proceeds you will be so wrapped up in it that you will not care about the little differences in form and be totally absorbed in the film. There may be better versions and/or more favorite versions but that doe not make this version any less worth having.

Julius Caesar ~ Marlon Brando
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the 1953 version, April 24 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "jdblaw" (Jacksonville, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
Unfortunately, this version is far short of the Marlon Brando version, which I rate with 5 stars. The fault is not in the casting of Heston versus Brando as Anthony. Both are outstanding. Heston may give an even better rendition of the funeral oration than Brando, though perhaps Brando is stronger in the rest of the play. Both versions benefit from the presence of Gielgud, whose lean and hungry energy drives Cassius throughout the 1953 version, and who is a strong Caesar here. But the earlier version perhaps profits more because Cassius is the more significant role, and Louis Calhern was also an imperial Caesar in 1953. Diana Rigg is outstanding in this version, but Deborah Kerr was also outstanding in the earlier movie. The superiority of the 1953 film lies elsewhere. Everyone in the 1953 cast was outstanding, including all the minor roles, which is not true here. This version suffers greatly by comparison. And the direction of the 1953 film was superb; in this version it's lackluster. Even the black and white of the earlier version adds to the stark and tragic drama. But most notably, James Mason in the earlier film was an ideal Brutus, a perfect portrait of a good and noble man misled into making bad choices at every turn. Robards, on the other hand, plods through this version, struggling with the rhythms of the language. His portrayal is so bland that it is completely unbelievable that anyone would want him as a leader of such a great and deadly conspiracy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST VHS VERSION, May 24 2002
By 
Gregory Moss (Diamond Bar, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
Charlton Heston's delivery of Mark Antony's funeral oration alone powers this production beyond the 1953 Brando version. Richard Johnson is superb as Cassius, and the beauty and spectacle of the Battle of Philippi in Act V is icing on the cake. Some have complained about the flat delivery of Brutus' lines by Jason Robards, but I find Robards' restraint in keeping with Brutus' character as a disciple of Stoicism. If you are a teacher, and you want your students to feel the emotional force of Antony's speech in Act III, as well as the sweep and drama of Acts IV and V, this is the version to show them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heston delivers the coup d'etat!, Dec 2 2002
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
Pardon the pun - actually that would be Brutus with the coup d'etat - "the most unkindest cut of all."
Behind Hamlet, Julius Caesar emerges as the foremost tragedy that has brought us so many great axioms and lines that we still use today some 400 years after the fact. After reading the beloved play for the 2nd time, I then watched this superb movie version for the 2nd time. It is impossible to overstate the incredible acting talent and the splendid performance enacted by the vibrant Charlton Heston as Marc Antony. His dynamic and electrifying speech to the plebians in the marketplace rivals any other in Shakespeare cinema history(including Olivier in Hamlet and Branagh in Henry V).
Not to be outdone, Sir John Gielgud superbly plays an arrogant and imperious version of Caesar while Jason Robards stoically plays the "noble" Brutus. As a self-proclaimed Shakespeare aficionado, I thoroughly reveled in this version of Julius Caesar and highly recommend it to those who appreciate fine drama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common?, Sept. 14 2002
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar 70 (VHS Tape)
What do Moses, Ben-Hur, and Antony have in common? Answer: They all look like Charlton Heston.
If somehow you missed the play or the history, basically Julius Caesar let his status go to his head and is about to take on the role of emperor. It is up to a handful of Noble Romans to see that this does not happen. The play is about these individuals, their individual purposes and what happens to them after the attempt to stop him. The focus is on Caesar's right arm (Mark Antony).
This is a 1970 rendition of Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" that is well adapted for the screen. Hence the characters are well known contemporaries. You will notice the major players and might miss some of the others such as Preston Lockwood (Trebonius) who played the Judge in "Strong Poison" ASIN: B000062XDY. With many movies the actor out shine the character and totally changes the emphasis of the story. However this version is well done with maybe the exception of Jason Robards (Brutus) who sometimes seems like Jason Robards playing Brutus at other times he is quite exceptional. Diana Rigg (Portia) who looks like a little girl is the only person that sounds like she is speaking in meter. Everyone speaks clearly and pauses long enough for you to think before moving on. Facial expressions are important to the story and they do not look like they are yelling at you (except in speeches).
You will notice that the back ground music is also of 70's vantage and is used to emphasize certain scenes. However the volume is not so high that you can not hear the clear pronunciation of the lines. Also the costumes made with satin are distracting. At one point Antony looks like Carol Burnett when she was wearing a curtain and left the rod in.
As the play proceeds you will be so wrapped up in it that you will not care about the little differences in form and be totally absorbed in the film. There may be better versions and/or more favorite versions but that doe not make this version any less worth having.
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Julius Caesar [Import] by Charlton Heston (DVD - 2007)
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