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Watch The Merchant of Venice (1980) - A BAFTA Award-Winning Film

The Merchant of Venice (1980) Full Movie Download: A Review

If you are looking for a classic Shakespearean comedy with a twist, you might want to check out The Merchant of Venice (1980), a TV movie adaptation of one of the Bard's most controversial and relevant plays. In this article, we will review the movie's plot, cast, direction, and themes, and help you decide whether it is worth watching or downloading.


What is the movie about?

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy that revolves around the conflict between Antonio, a wealthy Venetian merchant, and Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Antonio borrows money from Shylock to help his friend Bassanio woo Portia, a rich heiress who has to choose her husband from among three caskets. Shylock agrees to lend the money without interest, but on one condition: if Antonio fails to repay him on time, he will have to forfeit a pound of his flesh. When Antonio's ships are lost at sea, Shylock demands his bond, and a dramatic trial ensues. Meanwhile, Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and intervenes to save Antonio's life.

the merchant of venice (1980 full movie download)


Who are the main actors and director?

The movie features a stellar cast of British actors, including Warren Mitchell as Shylock, John Franklyn-Robbins as Antonio, John Nettles as Bassanio, Gemma Jones as Portia, Leslee Udwin as Jessica, Richard Morant as Lorenzo, Kenneth Cranham as Gratiano, and Marc Zuber as the Prince of Morocco. The movie was directed by Jack Gold, who also directed other Shakespeare adaptations such as Macbeth (1983) and King Lear (1984).

Why is the movie controversial and relevant?

The movie is controversial because it deals with the issues of antisemitism, racism, and religious intolerance that were prevalent in Shakespeare's time and are still relevant today. The movie does not shy away from showing the discrimination and violence that Shylock faces as a Jew in a Christian society. It also explores the moral dilemmas and contradictions that both Shylock and Antonio face in their quest for justice and mercy. The movie raises questions about the nature of law, love, friendship, and revenge that are still pertinent in our modern world.

Plot summary

Act 1: Antonio's loan and Bassanio's quest

The movie begins with Antonio expressing his sadness to his friends Salerio and Solanio. He does not know why he is so melancholy, but he suspects it has something to do with his business ventures. His friend Bassanio arrives and tells him that he is in love with Portia, a beautiful and wealthy lady who lives in Belmont. He asks Antonio for a loan of three thousand ducats so that he can travel to Belmont and woo her. Antonio agrees to help him, but he does not have enough money at hand. He suggests that Bassanio borrow the money from a moneylender using Antonio's credit as security.

Bassanio approaches Shylock, a Jewish moneylender who hates Antonio for his antisemit Shylock, a Jewish moneylender who hates Antonio for his antisemitic remarks and his practice of lending money without interest, agrees to lend the money to Bassanio on one condition: if Antonio fails to repay him on the due date, he will have to forfeit a pound of his flesh. Antonio, confident that his ships will return with profit, accepts the bond. Bassanio departs for Belmont with his friend Gratiano.

Act 2: Jessica's elopement and Portia's suitors

In Venice, Shylock's daughter Jessica plans to elope with Lorenzo, a Christian friend of Antonio and Bassanio. She is unhappy with her father's strict and miserly ways, and she wants to convert to Christianity. She steals some of her father's jewels and money and escapes with Lorenzo when Shylock is invited to dine with Antonio and Bassanio. Shylock is furious when he discovers her flight and vows to take revenge on Antonio.

In Belmont, Portia is bound by her father's will to marry the man who chooses the right casket among three: one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead. Each casket contains a clue to its contents, and the suitor who picks the one with Portia's portrait inside will win her hand. Portia is visited by several suitors, but she dislikes them all. She hopes that Bassanio will come and choose correctly. The first suitor, the Prince of Morocco, chooses the gold casket, which contains a skull and a message that warns him of his error. The second suitor, the Prince of Arragon, chooses the silver casket, which contains a fool's head and a similar message. Both princes leave disappointed.

Act 3: Shylock's bond and Portia's plan

Bassanio arrives in Belmont and is welcomed by Portia. He chooses the lead casket, which contains Portia's portrait and a message that praises his choice. Portia gives him a ring as a token of her love and asks him never to lose it or give it away. Bassanio promises to keep it forever. They exchange vows of marriage and are joined by Gratiano and Nerissa, Portia's maid, who also fall in love and decide to wed.

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However, their happiness is interrupted by a letter from Antonio, who informs Bassanio that all his ships are lost and that he cannot repay Shylock. Shylock has sued him in court and insists on taking his pound of flesh. Bassanio is distraught and decides to return to Venice with all the money he can muster to save his friend. Portia tells him to go and assures him that she will pay any amount to free Antonio. She then secretly sends a messenger to her cousin Bellario, a famous lawyer in Padua, and asks him for his advice and assistance.

Act 4: The trial scene and the verdict

The trial scene is the climax of the movie. It takes place in the court of Venice, where the Duke presides over the case. Antonio is brought before him, along with Shylock, Bassanio, Gratiano, Salerio, Solanio, and other spectators. The Duke expresses his sympathy for Antonio and tries to persuade Shylock to show mercy and accept twice the amount of the debt instead of the flesh. Shylock refuses and demands his bond according to the law.

The Duke then calls for Bellario, who has sent a letter saying that he cannot come but has recommended a young lawyer named Balthazar (who is actually Portia in disguise) to take his place. Balthazar arrives with Nerissa (who is disguised as his clerk) and asks for permission to question both parties. He first appeals to Shylock's sense of mercy, quoting from the Bible and arguing that mercy is more noble than justice. He then warns him of the consequences of his actions, saying that he will be hated by all men if he sheds Christian blood.

Shylock remains adamant and rejects all offers of money or mercy. He prepares to cut off Antonio's flesh with a knife and a scale. Balthazar then changes his tone and says that he has found no flaw in the bond and says that Shylock can have his pound of flesh, but not a drop of blood. He also says that if Shylock sheds any blood, he will be guilty of murder and forfeit his lands and goods to the state. He further adds that if Shylock shows any mercy, he will be pardoned and allowed to keep half of his wealth, while the other half will go to Antonio.

Shylock realizes that he has been outwitted and asks for his money instead. Balthazar denies him that option and says that he must stick to his bond or face the penalty. Shylock then begs for mercy and offers to settle for the original amount of the debt. Balthazar says that he has to accept the Duke's offer or nothing. The Duke spares Shylock's life and grants him half of his wealth, on the condition that he converts to Christianity and leaves the other half to Jessica and Lorenzo in his will. Shylock agrees, but is broken and humiliated by the outcome.

Antonio is freed and thanks Balthazar for saving his life. He offers him a reward, but Balthazar refuses and asks only for the ring that Portia gave to Bassanio. Bassanio hesitates, but Antonio persuades him to give it as a sign of gratitude. Gratiano also gives his ring to Nerissa, who asks for it as well. Balthazar and Nerissa leave, promising to meet them in Belmont.

Act 5: The reconciliation and the twist

The final act of the movie takes place in Portia's estate in Belmont, where Lorenzo and Jessica are enjoying a romantic night under the moonlight. They are joined by Portia and Nerissa, who have returned from Venice disguised as themselves. They welcome


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