In its review of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar TIME magazine called it “the best Shakespeare that Hollywood has yet produced.” That’s no longer true, of course: in the 60 years since its release, Hollywood (not to mention England, Japan and other moviemaking meccas) has surpassed Caesar with several stronger productions of other plays. But even today, this occasionally overwrought, frequently magnificent movie remains both formidable and (dare we say it?) fun. The cast is superb — John Gielgud, James Mason, Greer Garson, and Oscar-nominated Marlon Brando as Mark Antony — while Mankiewicz gets out of the way often enough to let the Bard shine through.
See also: The 1971 version starring Charlton Heston, John Gielgud, Jason Robards and many other “name” actors. Not because it’s good, but because it’s so mind-bendingly bad. A seminar in how not to make a Shakespeare movie. Fie, fie!