Merchant of Venice. Dir. John Sichel Perf. Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright, Jeremy Brett, and Michael Jayston. 1973. Videocassette. LIVE Home Video, 1993.
One of the remarkable things about Olivier’s Merchant of Venice (and there are many) is the second suitor. At 103, he’s clearly unsuitable for Portia even before he approaches the caskets. That unsuitability is part of the humor, of course—and there’s a fair amount of doddering and slapstick associated with the character—but there’s something more to it. The less suitable the suitors, the less reasonable the father’s will looks on the face of it.
Once the caskets are opened, however, the more unsuitable the suitors, the more we approve of the father’s will.
Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).
Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.
The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.