The Montagues and the Capulets, two powerful families of Verona, hate each other. Romeo, son of Montague, crashes a Capulet party, and there meets Juliet, daughter of Capulet. They fall passionately in love. Since their families would disapprove, they marry in secret. Romeo gets in a fight with Tybalt, nephew of Lady Capulet, and kills him. He is banished from Verona. Capulet, not knowing that his daughter is already married, proceeds with his plans to marry Juliet to Paris, a prince. This puts Juliet in quite a spot, so she goes to the sympathetic Friar Laurence, who married her to Romeo. He suggests a daring plan to extricate her from her fix. Tragedy ensues. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scenes of combat that will stir your pulse...tender haunting romance that will stay ever fresh in your memory...spectacular beauty that will set a feast for your eyes...in the greatest melodramatic romance of all time...presented as it has never been before...the final glorious flower of motion picture achievement.
The role of Mercutio was the only Shakespearean role that John Barrymore ever played complete onscreen. His only other screen appearances in Shakespearean roles were in a screen test for a never-made film version of "Hamlet", a soliloquy as Richard III in the 1929 film "The Show of Shows", and a role in the film "Playmates", as a hammy Shakespearean actor. See more »
The lavish treatment given to this by MGM and Irving Thalberg (his final production showcasing his wife Norma Shearer as Juliet) does work, as do the mature lovers and their supporting cast (Leslie Howard fitting the part of Romeo perfectly, John Barrymore and Basil Rathbone out-swashing each other as Mercutio and Tybalt), Edna May Oliver as the Nurse, typically loud, and Ralph Forbes as a bizarre Paris (no, I can't see why Juliet would want to marry him either, despite her parents' wishes). The music is lovely, despite being stolen from more classical stuff, the settings are perfectly in tune, the verse is spoken with some feeling and inspiration. Why this version doesn't get seen more often I don't know (not even on video in the UK).
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