Julius Caesar (1950 film)

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Julius Caesar
Charlton Heston as Antony, 1950, B&W image by Chalmers Butterfield.jpg
Charlton Heston as Antony
Directed by David Bradley
Produced by David Bradley
Written by David Bradley (script)
William Shakespeare (original play)
Starring Harold Tasker
Charlton Heston
David Bradley
Theodore Cloak
Mary Sefton Darr
Music by Chuck Zornig
Cinematography Louis McMahon
Distributed by Brandon Films Inc.
Release date
March 1950 (1950-03)
Running time
106 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Julius Caesar is a 1950 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar. The first film version of the play with sound, it was produced and directed by David Bradley using actors from the Chicago area. Charlton Heston, who had known Bradley since his youth, and who was establishing himself in television and theater in New York, played Mark Antony. He was the only paid cast member. Bradley himself played Brutus, and Harold Tasker had the title role. Bradley recruited drama students from his alma mater Northwestern University for bit parts and extras, one of whom was future star Jeffrey Hunter, who studied alongside Heston at Northwestern.


The 16 mm film was shot in 1949 on locations in the Chicago area, including Soldier Field, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Elks National Veterans Memorial, and the Field Museum. The Indiana sand dunes on Lake Michigan were used for the Battle of Philippi. One indoor set was built in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. To save money, about 80% of the film was shot silently, with the dialogue dubbed in later by the actors.


Production shot from Julius Caesar

After its premiere in Evanston in 1950, the film had only limited showings in the United States, mainly in schools, until it played at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1951, opened in New York City in late 1952, and tied for first place at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1953. On the basis of a private screening in Hollywood, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Bradley as a directing intern in 1950.

Two decades later, Heston reprised his role as Mark Antony in both Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.

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