THE MERCHANT OF VENICE REVIEWED
“The Merchant of Venice” is a 1973 TV adaptation using the 1970 stage cast. If you’re not familiar with the original story, it’s like Shakespeare made a Jewsploitation tale for the ages. Shylock helps out a young man who wants to get married. Unfortunately, the guy can’t pay his loan and Shylock the Jew wants to get paid. What follows is the most antisemetic episode of The People’s Court, all the while no one in the cast is more than a quarter Jewish. What does Shylock want for payment? A pound of human flesh. Shakespeare had a grand laugh and historians want you to forget about how certain areas of Elizabethan England required Jews to wear red hats to be identified.
I’ve seen far better adaptations of this classic tale, but there’s a certain elegance to the acting pedigree onstage. There seems to be an effort to move the story’s location to England in the Victorian era, but I guess there must’ve been spare Holmes costumes left over. If you look carefully, you’ll spot Wedge Antilles in the background of a few scenes. If you don’t know who that is, he’s the X-Wing pilot not named Skywalker that survived the Holy Trilogy. SHAKESPEARE!
A/V QUALITY STATS
- 1.33:1 standard definition transfer