Cinema: New Picture, Jun. 1, 1953

Julius Caesar (MGM) is the best Shakespeare that Hollywood has yet produced.* For one thing, Julius Caesar is a play that lends itself fairly easily to filming. Melodramatic rather than introspective, it is a sort of gangster picture with an ancient (44 B.C.) Roman setting. Its political-thriller plot—a bloody conspiracy, and the tyranny that is bred by lust for power—has obvious modern parallels.

This Julius Caesar falls considerably short of the grandeur of Sir Laurence Olivier's Henry V and the overpowering sense of tragedy of his Hamlet. Nor does it have the visual imagination...

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