Competition no. 229: results

V.S.Pritchett suggests, cagily, that the Hollywood version of Othello is under way. This wasn’t true – in fact, there were no film versions between the Finnish version in 1922 and the first US version – the Welles version – in 1952. However, never let the facts get in the way of a competition. Pritchett asks for Hollywood versions of the play, with a free rein as far as what this might consist of. Extracts from the scenario or dialogue are allowable.

The spoofs, pretty good, are uncomfortable for a modern audience – lots of cheery references to skin colour. Pritchett only quotes the winners (he has given them 400 words each), so here they are. These are first wins for Sach Novics and Lionel Millard. Millard had been one of three actors in the first televised play on the BBC in 1930, which was directed by Val Gielgud, and produced by competition judge Lance Sieveking. Millard’s entry was reprinted in a Melbourne paper within the fortnight, credited to ‘The Nation and Statesman competition’.

Sach Novics wins because of the detail relating to the gondola but Millard’s version seems better to me.

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Othello Welles

Death in Venice

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Harlow

Footnote: Millard had in fact played a small role in the 1926-27 Old Vic production of Othello (as Lodovico).

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