Just as the material economies of America and Europe grew with the pursuit of wealth and consumerism from the late 1940s into the 1950s following a half-century of world wars, so did the cultural economies expand too, and this expansion included an increase in the number and kind of Shakespeare film adaptations. (The growth in domestic TV ownership and audience programming on both sides of the Atlantic spawned an ever-increasing production of small-screen Shakespeare, discussed in Part V.) Interestingly, as Shakespeare increasingly became an international theatrical phenomenon in the post-war years through faster communications making the world a smaller and smaller place, so were the film adaptations produced emerging from a more diverse range of cultures and countries, beyond Britain and the USA. This is evident when we take note of the most significant films of the Fifties: Welles’s Othello (Morocco/Italy, 1952), Joseph Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar (USA, 1953), Renato Castellani’s Romeo and Juliet (UK/Italy, 1954), Olivier’s Richard III (UK, 1955), Yutkevitch’s Othello (Russia, 1955) and Kurosawa’s Kumonosu-Jô (Japan, 1957).
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