6. Orson Welles’s Othello (1952)
As I discussed in my “Top 10 Orson Welles Films”, Welles was a great Shakespearean all his life; indeed, his first great artistic successes were on stage in the 1930s with a “Voodoo Macbeth” in Harlem and a “Caesar” on Broadway. His first attempt to film Shakespeare, his 1948 Macbeth, was not an unadulterated success, but his second attempt, Othello, was a huge improvement. Welles himself was a magnificent Moor; he obviously understood the insecurities that rack even the greatest of men. But as is so often the case with Othello, the film is stolen by Micheál MacLiammóir’s Iago, who is one of the great Shakespearean, and indeed cinematic, villains.