King Lear (1953 film)
|Based on||King Lear|
|Directed by||Andrew McCullough|
|Theme music composer||Virgil Thomson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||73 minutes|
King Lear is a 1953 live television adaptation of the Shakespeare play staged by Peter Brook and starring Orson Welles. Preserved on kinescope, it aired October 18, 1953, as part of the CBS television series Omnibus, hosted by Alistair Cooke. The cast includes Micheál Mac Liammóir and Alan Badel.
A heavily abridged version of the play, this production condensed the play by eliminating the characters of Edgar and Edmund. To compensate for their absence, the role of Oswald is expanded to take Edmund's part in the play's climax, and "Poor Tom" is included not as a disguised Edgar but as an actual madman.
Welles returned to America to star in this presentation. He was guarded by IRS agents, prohibited to leave his hotel room when not at the studio, prevented from making any purchases, and the entire sum (less expenses) he earned went to his tax bill. Welles returned to England after the broadcast.
- Orson Welles … King Lear
- Natasha Parry … Cordelia
- Arnold Moss … Duke of Albany
- Bramwell Fletcher … Earl of Kent
- David J. Stewart … Oswald
- Margaret Phillips … Regan
- Beatrice Straight … Goneril
- Alan Badel … Fool
- Micheál Mac Liammóir … Poor Tom
- Frederick Worlock … Earl of Gloucester
- Scott Forbes … Duke of Cornwall
- Wesley Addy … King of France
- Fred Sadoff … Duke of Burgundy
- Ax, Sean (15 February 2010). "TV on DVD 2/16/10 – King Lear, Barnaby Jones and Lincoln Heights". seanax.com. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "King Lear (1953)". British Universities Film and Video Council. n.d. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Crosby, John (22 October 1953). "Orson Welles as King Lear on TV is Impressive". New York Herald Tribune. Retrieved 7 January 2018 – via wellesnet.com.
- Howard, Tony (2005). "When Peter Met Orson: The 1953 CBS King Lear". In Boose, Lynda E.; Burt, Richard (eds.). Shakespeare, The Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV and Video. Routledge. pp. 124–137. ISBN 9781134707539.
- "King Lear Films". PBS, Great Performances. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "ORSON WELLES is "enourmosly impressive" in the Peter Brook production of Shakespeare's KING LEAR now out on DVD". wellesnet.com. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- King Lear on IMDb
- Omnibus: King Lear, backstage preview at YouTube
- Omnibus: King Lear, excerpt from Act I at YouTube
- Omnibus: King Lear, excerpt from Act IV at YouTube
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