“For the sake of their own careers, important stars won’t be villains. The idols that we put up there must do no wrong. If they do, audiences don’t approve of sort of thing”. (1)
Though iconic is frequently tossed about in Film, few films truly are as iconic as Tod Browning’s 1931 version of Dracula. Nine years after the Count’s unauthorised screen debut in F.W Murnau’s legendary Nosferatu, Browning’s film established the character as a cultural icon. Consequently, Bela Lugosi’s portrayal became, to quote Angie Errigo, “the one against which all others are measured (1)”.
Writer and debutant director Oliver Parker’s 1995 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello is a landmark in the long, extensive performance history of the play. One of a stream of the ‘New Wave’ Shakespeare films that followed in the wake of Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V (1989), Parker’s film succeeds over twenty recorded screen adaptations for film and television but represents the first time that Shakespeare’s great tragedy received a commercial, mass-market treatment for the Hollywood market.