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 byDavid Bradley
Written byDavid Bradley (script)
William Shakespeare (original play)
StarringHarold Tasker
Charlton Heston
David Bradley
Theodore Cloak
Mary Sefton Darr
Music byChuck Zornig
CinematographyLouis McMahon
Distributed byBrandon Films Inc.
Release date
March 1950 (1950-03)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States

Julius Caesar is a 1950 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar starring Charlton Heston. The first film version of the play with sound, it was produced and directed by David Bradley using actors from the Chicago area. [1] Heston, who had known Bradley since his youth, and who was establishing himself in television and theater in New York, portrayed Mark Antony. [2] He was the only paid cast member. Bradley himself played Brutus, and Harold Tasker had the titular 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.

William Shakespeare 16th and 17th-century English playwright and poet

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

<i>Julius Caesar</i> (play) play by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a history play and tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

Charlton Heston American actor and guns rights activist

Charlton Heston was an American actor and political activist.



Mark Antony Roman politician and general

Marcus Antonius, commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.

David Bradley (director) American film director

David Shedd Bradley was an American motion picture director, actor, film collector, and university instructor.


The 16 mm film was shot in 1949 on several locations around the Chicago area, including Soldier Field, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the downtown post office, and the Elks National Veterans Memorial. [3] The Indiana sand dunes on Lake Michigan were used for the Battle of Philippi. [4] One indoor set was built in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. To save money, around 80% of the film was shot silently, with the dialogue dubbed in later by the actors.

Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, Illinois

Soldier Field is an American football stadium located in the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois. It opened in 1924 and is the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), who moved there in 1971. With a football capacity of 61,500, it is the third-smallest stadium in the NFL. In 2016, Soldier Field became the second-oldest stadium in the league when the Los Angeles Rams began playing temporarily at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which opened a year earlier than Soldier Field.

Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) Science and technology museum in Illinois, US

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is located in Chicago, Illinois, in Jackson Park, in the Hyde Park neighborhood between Lake Michigan and The University of Chicago. It is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Initially endowed by Julius Rosenwald, the Sears, Roebuck and Company president and philanthropist, it was supported by the Commercial Club of Chicago and opened in 1933 during the Century of Progress Exposition.

Elks National Veterans Memorial memorial building in Chicago, Illinois

The Elks National Veterans Memorial is a Beaux Arts-style domed building at 2750 North Lakeview Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The structure was planned by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, who wished to honor members of their order who had served in World War I. A design competition was administered by the American Institute of Architects. Architect Egerton Swartwout's design was selected for the building, which was constructed between 1924 and 1926. Fine marble was imported from Greece, Austria, France, Belgium and Italy, as well as from Vermont, Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. High quality limestone came from Indiana. The building's lavish construction and interior decoration and artwork have caused it to be described as "one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world." The building features sculptures by Adolph A. Weinman, Laura Gardin Fraser, and James Earle Fraser, and murals by Eugene Savage and Edwin Blashfield.

Production shot from Julius Caesar Charlton Heston as Antony in Julius Caesar, B&W image by Chalmers Butterfield.jpg
Production shot from Julius Caesar


After its premiere in Evanston in 1950, the film had only a limited distribution in the United States, where it was mainly shown in schools and colleges. In 1951, it played at the Edinburgh Film Festival, [5] then opened in New York City in late 1952. The film was shown at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1953 where it tied for first place. [6] On the basis of a private screening in Hollywood, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Bradley as a directing intern in 1950.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually known as New York City (NYC), or New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of approximately 302.6 square miles (784 km2), it is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the U.S. state of New York, the city is the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous cities, with a estimated population of 19.9 million people in its metropolitan statistical area and 22.7 million in its combined statistical area. New York City ranks among the cultural and media world capitals, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, and fashion.

Locarno Festival annual film festival held in Locarno, Switzerland

The Locarno Film Festival is an annual film festival held every August in Locarno, Switzerland. Founded in 1946, it is one of the longest-running film festivals, and is also known for being a prestigious platform for art house films. The festival screens films in various competitive and non-competitive sections, including feature-length narrative and documentary, short, avant-garde, and retrospective programs. The Piazza Grande section is held in one of the world's largest open-air screening venues, seating 8,000 spectators.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer American media company

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

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

<i>Julius Caesar</i> (1970 film) 1970 film by Stuart Burge

Julius Caesar is a 1970 British independent film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of the same name, directed by Stuart Burge from a screenplay by Robert Furnival. The film stars Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, Diana Rigg, and Jill Bennett. It is the first film version of the play made in color.

Antony and Cleopatra is a 1972 film adaptation of the play of the same name by William Shakespeare, directed by and starring Charlton Heston, and made by the Rank Organisation. Heston and Hildegarde Neil portray the titular roles of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, with a supporting cast featuring Eric Porter, John Castle, Fernando Rey, Carmen Sevilla, Freddie Jones, Peter Arne, Douglas Wilmer, Julian Glover and Roger Delgado. The picture was produced by Peter Snell from a screenplay by Federico De Urrutia and the director.

Critical reception

Upon the film's opening in New York City, The New York Times credited its "company of earnest collegians" with giving "firm pictorial character" to classic drama. [7]

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

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  1. Crowl, Samuel (November 25, 1994). "A World Elsewhere: The Roman Plays on Film and Television". In Davies, Anthony; Wells, Stanley (eds.). Shakespeare and the Moving Image: The Plays on Film and Television. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 147. ISBN   0-521-43424-6 . Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. Brode, Douglas (April 27, 2000). Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Shakespeare in Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 102. ISBN   0-199-72802-X . Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  3. Corcoran, Michael; Bernstein, Arnie (June 1, 2013). Hollywood on Lake Michigan: 100+ Years of Chicago and the Movies. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 216. ISBN   1-613-74578-8 . Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  4. Walcott, Fred G. (1953). "Julius Caesar by David Bradley". English Journal . 42 (4): 233. JSTOR   809618.
  5. Hartley, Andrew James (March 30, 2014). Julius Caesar. Shakespeare in Performance. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 112. ISBN   0-719-07919-5 . Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  6. "1953 7th Locarno Festival". Locarno Festival . Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  7. Crowther, Rosley (November 25, 1952). "16mm Version of 'Julius Caesar' Is Presented at the Baronet by Amateur Film-Makers". The New York Times . Retrieved April 7, 2018.