Julius Caesar 1953

Julius Caesar

Critics Consensus

A sterling cast gives Shakespeare's tale of betrayal and reprisals body and fine form, with Marlon Brando displaying a galvanizing command over the Bard's language.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,251

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Movie Info

Brutus (James Mason) is convinced by a scheming band of Roman senators, led by Caius Cassius (John Gielgud), that his dear friend Julius Caesar (Louis Calhern) intends to dissolve the republic and install himself as monarch, and he joins a conspiracy to assassinate him. Brutus stirringly defends his actions, but when Mark Antony (Marlon Brando) responds with a speech that plays upon the crowd's love for their fallen leader, a battle between the two factions is assured.

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Critic Reviews for Julius Caesar

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Julius Caesar

  • Oct 14, 2017
    In this movie, you have the world's greatest playwright (Shakespeare) combined with one of the world's greatest actors (Brando), two other fantastic talents (Mason and Gielgud), and a compelling historical tale (the assassination of Julius Caesar and resulting civil war). On paper, this should be an extraordinary film. And I have to say, the scenes with Brando right after the assassination are compelling (the one in private ending with him raging "Cry 'Havoc!'", and of course the address to the crowd), even if he slips on a word or two. Watch it primarily for those, because the rest of the film, while erudite and worth watching, just doesn't translate as well. I disliked Louis Calhern as Caesar as he didn't have the right bearing or presence. Director Mankiewicz is faithful, perhaps too faithful, to the original, though adapting the play may have been a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation. Regardless, there are elements that shine with Shakespeare's beautiful words, and there are other elements that fall flat.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2013
    This adaptation of Shakespeare is, like the play, more interested in the post Caesar world than the title character. Brando gives us the most realistic Antony speech that I have ever seen. Mason and Gielgud are tremendous as the villains.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2013
    The best treatment of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, by far. Hats off to Ms. Kerr for her riveting portrayal. John's Gielgud's "Et Tu Brute?!" was the finest of the many versions out there.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2011
    Although the title is Julius Caesar, the play and the film are more concerned with Brutus and his interplay with Cassius and Antony. As Brutus, James Mason displays the brooding intelligence of a man clearly swimming in political waters far deeper than he is qualified for, either by training or temperament. Likewise Gielgud, as Cassius, is appropriately manipulative. Cassius has his own agenda and is happy to use Brutus to reach that end. In a similar manner, Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz has filled the other roles with excellent actors who are uniformly comfortable with Shakespeare's language to the point that they can use it as a means of investing their characters with a reality that is both honest and entertaining. As Marc Antony, Marlon Brando makes the most of his few but crucial appearances, including a stunningly intense delivery of the "I've come to bury Caesar" sequence at the turning point. Brando was an actor of immense talent and is not only comfortable with the language but more than holds his own with the classically trained actors in the cast who have far more experience with the Bard. Brando's timing and dramatic sense are impeccable. What's more, Brando infuses Antony with a pugnacious air that seems completely appropriate to Antony both dramatically and historically. Antony's speech alone, as played by Brando, is worth the price of admission. But most of this play belongs to the tortured, noble figure of Brutus. James Mason's fluid voice and minimalist acting style perfectly convey the humanity-and the tragedy of humanity-represented by this figure. His interplay with Gielgud throughout the play, starting with Cassius's cunning manipulation of Brutus into the conspiracy to kill Caesar and concluding with their reconciliation as Cassius faces death, is an acting school led by veterans of both stage and celluloid. In the in the end it is Cassius who is most changed by Brutus and that because of this relationship he dies a better man than the schemer we met earlier. Indeed, if you are looking for acting at its finest you need look no further than the Mason - Brando speeches in the Forum.
    Cinema F Super Reviewer

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