One of William Shakespeare's lesser-known plays, Titus Andronicus was staged in New York by award-winning theatrical director Julie Taymor in an acclaimed 1995 production, before her widely praised Broadway version of The Lion King. Taymor revisits that production for her first motion picture, with the addition of a star-studded cast. Roman General Titus Andronicus (Anthony Hopkins) has returned from defeating the Goths in a bloody battle, but the victory has left him with mixed feelings, as the war took the lives of several of his sons. Titus is reminded by his first-born son Lucius (Angus Macfadyen) that their faith demands the sacrifice of an enemy prisoner as a gift to the gods for their victory. Titus chooses the eldest son of Tamora (Jessica Lange), the Queen of the Goths, who has since been taken hostage by Titus's troops. Tamora pleads for her son's life, but Titus goes ahead with the sacrifice. She then becomes the lover of the new emperor of Rome, Saturninus (Alan Cumming), a weak-willed and corrupt man. Tamora uses her connection to the throne for her own ends: in retaliation for the death of her son, Tamora and her surviving sons, Chiron (Jonathan Rhys Myers) and Demetrius (Matthew Rhys), arrange the death of Titus's beloved daughter, Lavinia (Laura Fraser). This act sets in motion an ever-tightening spiral of revenge and retaliation that leaves few of the participants unscathed. The supporting cast includes Colm Feore as Marcus, Harry Lennix as Aaron, and James Frain as Bassianus. -- Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

My dear friend Alexandra has deciphered the story into a long and short summary. Perhaps you are dying to read the play in its entirety though. This version even offers help with some of the big words.


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Titus was nominated for an Academy Award for Costume Design.

Alan took 3 months off from Cabaret to film this movie.

Titus marks the first Shakespearean performance by Jessica Lange.

Alan auditioned for Titus the day after winning his Tony Award.

Alan was caught trying to take the crown that he wore in the film home with him.

Julie Taymor had to talk Anthony hopkins into taking the role of Titus, since he had sworn off doing Shakespeare years before.