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Shakespeare's Merchant (2003)

Not Rated
86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In this dark adaptation of "The Merchant of Venice," Shakespeare's most controversial play, Jews are regularly hunted on the streets of a postmodern Venice (California) as if it were 13th century Europe. In the film's opening sequences a ...See moreIn this dark adaptation of "The Merchant of Venice," Shakespeare's most controversial play, Jews are regularly hunted on the streets of a postmodern Venice (California) as if it were 13th century Europe. In the film's opening sequences a Jewish girl is raped in broad daylight while a woman watches, gleeful, from her living room window; toughs chases a young man in a yarmulke to the beach and beat him senseless. And Shylock, the money lender, is spat upon and threatened. In this atmosphere of lawless anti-Semitism Bassanio is forced to borrow money from his lover, Antonio. But Antonio's cash is bound up in his fleet of ships and so they proceed to Shylock's, where it becomes clear that Antonio is one of the anti-Semites who has plagued Shylock on the Rialto. Shylock agrees to the loan but exacts a forfeiture: a pound of Antonio's flesh if the loan is defaulted on by even a day. Meanwhile Portia, with the help of her father's executrix, is seeking the husband who can unravel her father's riddle to win her hand in marriage. After several suitors are rejected, Bassanio wins-but not without some help. Test after test ensues of each set of lovers and of the society itself. In the karmic ending Shylock, his daughter Jessica, Bassanio, Antonio and Portia are each bereft in their own way, making this version with its queer twist, more tragic even than Shakespeare intended. Written by Victoria Brownworth, PIGLFF. See less
Read more: Plot summary
Director
Writers
William Shakespeare (play "The Merchant of Venice") | Paul Wagar
Cinematographer
Casting Director
Production Designer
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Jun 5, 2004

Release date
Dec 10, 2003 (United States)

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Cast

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20 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
John D. Haggerty
Bassanio Bassanio   See fewer
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Lorna MacNab
Portia Portia   See fewer
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Bruce Cornwell
Shylock Shylock   See fewer
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Don Stewart
Antonio (as Donald Robert Stewart) Antonio (as Donald Robert Stewart)   See fewer
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John Emmet Tracy
Gratiano Gratiano   See fewer
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Vanessa Claire Stewart
Jessica (as Vanessa Claire Smith) Jessica (as Vanessa Claire Smith)   See fewer
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Michelle Haner
Nerissa Nerissa   See fewer
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Richard Tatum
Prince Of Aragon Prince Of Aragon   See fewer
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Chad Jason
Lorenzo Lorenzo   See fewer
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D. Elliot Woods
Prince Of Morocco Prince Of Morocco   See fewer
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Brad Mays
Tubal Tubal   See fewer
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Steve Shields
Salerio Salerio   See fewer
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Ben Wells
Launcelot Launcelot   See fewer
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Max Amini
Benicio Benicio   See fewer
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Tracy Eliott
Aragon's Assistant Aragon's Assistant   See fewer
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Rick Irwin
French Suitor French Suitor   See fewer
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JoAnna Jocelyn
Beatrice Beatrice   See fewer
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Allelon Ruggiero
Balthazar Balthazar   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

4.5 / 10 | 22 votes